Special Educational Needs: Schools

Department for Education written question – answered at on 11 December 2023.

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Photo of Grahame Morris Grahame Morris Labour, Easington

To ask the Secretary of State for Education, if she will make an assessment of the adequacy of the (a) capacity of and (b) resources available to schools to support SEND students.

Photo of David Johnston David Johnston The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Education

Local authorities are responsible for providing enough school places for children in their area.

The department supports local authorities to provide sufficient school places through capital funding, and the department has published over £1.5 billion of High Needs Provision Capital Allocations for the 2022/23 and 2023/24 financial years. This funding is allocated to local authorities to support them to deliver new places and improve existing provision for children and young people with Special Educational Needs and Disabilities (SEND) or who require Alternative Provision (AP). This funding forms part of our transformational investment of £2.6 billion in new high needs provision between 2022 and 2025 and is on top of our ongoing delivery of new special and AP free schools.

The department has begun collecting data from local authorities on available capacity in special schools, SEND units and resourced provision, along with corresponding forecasts of demand for these places. This data will help the department to effectively support local authorities to fulfil their statutory duty to provide sufficient specialist places.

Including the additional funding from the teachers’ pay additional grant, funding for the ongoing costs of mainstream schools and high needs funding for children and young people with complex SEND is over £1.8 billion higher in 2024/25, compared to 2023/24. The total school’s revenue budget will be £59.6 billion in 2024/25 which is a record level in real terms per pupil.

Within this total, high needs funding is increasing to over £10.5 billion next year which is an increase of over 60% from the 2019/20 allocations.

This funding will help local authorities and schools with the costs of supporting children and young people with SEND.

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