To ask the Secretary of State for Education, what assessment he has made of the effect of trends in spending on children in need of SEND provision in England over the next two years; what steps he is taking in response to reports of SEND funding deficits by local authorities; and if he will make a statement.
We have listened to local authorities’ and schools’ concerns about the rising costs of special educational needs provision and the pressure this causes on their budgets. That is why in December we announced an additional £250 million of funding for high needs over this financial year and the next. Overall funding for high needs will therefore rise to £6.3 billion in 2019-20.
The department has done work to understand the drivers of these increasing costs including the shift in the proportion of children with high needs being educated in the specialist and independent sectors, rather than mainstream schools. To build on this work, we will be launching a call for evidence looking into the financial incentives in the system. We want to gather evidence on any perverse incentives in the system and on the use of resources mainstream schools have to spend on special educational needs to inform future policy development.