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LOCAL AUTHORITIES FACE GOVERNMENT SHORTFALL IN FUNDING FOR SPECIAL EDUCATIONAL NEEDS

April 18, 2019 6:00 PM

93% OF LOCAL AUTHORITIES FACE GOVERNMENT SHORTFALL IN FUNDING FOR SPECIAL EDUCATIONAL NEEDS.

TORIES CONDEMNED FOR SLASHING LOCAL SPECIAL NEEDS BUDGET BY £615 per pupil Karl Reine skolegutt.jpg CCBY-SA4.0 A six year old boy with Downs Syndrome on his first day at school (Share-ALIKE 4.0 Int CC By-SA 4.0)

Data published today by the National Education Union reveals that 93% of local authorities across England have faced a funding shortfall for special educational needs and disabilities (SEND). This has resulted in losses of invaluable support staff, increased waiting times for SEN assessments and cuts to specialist provision.

The Liberal Democrats have today condemned the Conservative Government for slashing Suffolk County Council budget for special educational needs and disabilities (SEND) by £615 per pupil in real terms since 2015, resulting in a loss of specialist provision.

The National Education Union, which published these statistics on 15 April, has warned that local authorities have now reached crisis point.

Although children with the highest special educational needs and disabilities have a legal right to extra support, the National Education Union has warned that funding under the Conservative Government has failed to keep up with increasing costs and rising pupil numbers.

The Liberal Democrats are campaigning for more money for these pupils who possess an Education, Health and Care Plan (EHCP) , saving schools and councils hundreds of millions of pounds.

Liberal Democrat Education Spokesperson, Layla Moran MP, said:

"Everyone deserves the best start in life, and education can be the make or break difference. It is therefore heartbreaking, particularly as a teacher, that Conservative Ministers are failing the children most in need.

"It doesn't need to be this way. Young people deserve better, and the Liberal Democrats demand better. That's why we would invest millions more to support children with an Education, Health and Care Plan, freeing up money in the schools budget to provide tailored in-school support for children with less complex additional needs such as dyslexia."

Liberal Democrat spokesperson for Suffolk County Councillor Penny Otton added:

There are 3066 pupils with Statements or an Education Health Care Plan under 16 years and 615 over 16years in Suffolk.

"SEND funding is an investment in a child's future. It can help someone with a learning difficulty or disability secure a higher paid job, security and independence in later life.

"We know how vital it can be, and so should Conservative Ministers in Whitehall. That is why Liberal Democrats are fighting tooth and nail for the money that will make a real difference for children across Suffolk."

Source: LGA Lib Dems - April 17, 2019

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