Last reviewed 16 April 2021

The Department for Education (DfE) has announced that children with special educational needs and disabilities (SEND) or requiring alternative provision in England will benefit from a £280 million funding boost.

Councils will receive the funding to create new places in early years settings, schools, academies and colleges. The investment is intended to improve existing provision to create modern, fit-for-purpose spaces suited to a wider range of pupil needs. This could be by contributing to the cost of creating a whole new special school, or by improving accessibility, such as installing ramps, handrails or ceiling hoists.

The funding is part of the Government’s commitment to ensuring pupils with SEND receive the specialist support they need to get an excellent education. Local authorities will receive a share of the money this summer, with the funding to be allocated based on the projected number of pupils with high needs in their area.

The investment follows £365 million allocated through the Special Provision Capital Fund to create places and improve facilities for pupils with SEND across 2018 to 2021.

Children and Families Minister Vicky Ford said:

“Every child or young person with SEND should go to school feeling confident that they will get the tailored support they need at school, and every teacher should be equipped with the right facilities to teach those pupils.”

“We have already increased the high needs budget by nearly a quarter over the past two years. This additional investment will enable local authorities to invest more in creating excellent school places or enhancing existing provision so that pupils with additional needs and disabilities get the same opportunities as any other.”

The funding adds to the Government’s programme of work to level up outcomes, including the ongoing SEND Review which is looking at ways to make sure the system is consistent, high-quality and integrated across education, health and care.