To ask the Secretary of State for Education, what assessment his Department has made of the adequacy of availability of educational psychologists to support the needs of children with SEND.
The Special Educational Needs and Disabilities (SEND) and Alternative Provision (AP) Green Paper sets out our vision for an inclusive education system to ensure that all children and young people have timely access to specialist services and support.
Since 2020, the department has increased the number of educational psychologist trainees that we fund to over 200, from 160 per annum, and we invested £30 million to train three more cohorts for academic years 2020, 2021, and 2022, to reflect increased demand. The first cohort will enter the workforce in 2023 to provide crucial support to children and young people, schools, families, and local authorities.
This February the department announced a further investment of over £10 million to train over 200 more educational psychologists. These trainees will begin their courses in September 2023, and graduate in 2026.