Special Educational Needs

Department for Education written question – answered on 27th April 2016.

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Photo of Lord Storey Lord Storey Liberal Democrat Lords Spokesperson (Education)

To ask Her Majesty’s Government what funding they have put in place to ensure that the parents of special needs students do not feel that home-schooling is their only option.

Photo of Lord Nash Lord Nash The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Education

The Government’s intention is to make sure that the education system offers every child or young person with special educational needs the support they need to achieve their full potential. The department allocates funding to meet the special educational needs of children and young people through the dedicated schools grant to local authorities, and equivalent funding to academies. Most of this funding goes to mainstream schools and academies: each local authority’s school funding formula takes into account the characteristics of the schools’ students, enabling schools to provide appropriate support to those who have special educational needs. Additional funding (£5.3 billion in 2016-17) is made available to enable local authorities to meet their responsibilities to secure suitable provision for children and young people with high needs. Most of this funding is allocated to mainstream and special schools.

In addition, the department has invested heavily in practical and financial support for implementation of the reforms introduced by the Children and Families Act 2014, including an extra £80 million which is being made available in 2016-17. This includes support to help parents with the new arrangements, to make sure that they know what options are available to them, and can be involved in the assessment of their children’s needs and decisions about the provision to meet those needs. To ensure these new arrangements are working, from May 2016, all local areas (both local authorities and health providers) will be subject to inspection on support and provision for children and young people with special educational needs and/or disaibility by Ofsted and the Care Quality Commission.

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