Local authorities are to receive an extra £350 million in funding to support pupils with special educational needs and disabilities (SEND).

Councils will receive an extra £125 million for 2018/19 and a further £125 million in 2019/20 for high-needs budgets for maintained schools and academies. They will also get £100 million in capital funding to create more specialist places in special and mainstream schools in 2019/20.

The money is intended to pay for additional teaching and other support for pupils in order to manage the pressures on the high-needs budget in schools.

Paul Whiteman, General Secretary of the National Association of Head Teachers (NAHT), said that finding additional funds for SEND pupils is the “right thing to do”, but he also commented that the extra money will not be enough to “fix the crisis in funding” for these children. He welcomed the fact that the Department for Education (DfE) is now “publicly acknowledging that the burden of SEND support sits unduly on education in the absence of funded support from local authorities, and that the situation facing schools is unsustainable”. Mr Whiteman added: “And, crucially, recognising that the requirement for schools to fund the first £6000 of an EHCP unfairly penalises those schools that are the most inclusive. The next step must now be for the DfE to build a case for more money from Treasury.”

Other measures announced by the Government include increasing the number of educational psychologists and reviewing SEND content in initial teacher training. In addition, new long-term research is to be undertaken to assess the impact and value for money of SEND provision in England.

Last reviewed 2 January 2019