- £280 million funding package to support children with special educational needs and disabilities
- Capital investment to provide more specialist places and improve provision for SEND pupils across country
- More new specialist academies to be built improving choice and access for parents
Children with special educational needs and disabilities (SEND) or requiring alternative provision in England are set to benefit from an investment of £280 million over the next financial year, the government has announced today (09 April).
Councils will receive funding to create new school places and improve existing facilities in schools and alternative provision, ensuring that pupils with SEND receive the specialist support they need to get an excellent education.
Local authorities can use the funding for a range of different purposes, from creating entirely new school places, to expanding and upgrading 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 allocations announced today build on the government’s continued investment in the Free Schools programme. 59 special and 49 Alternative Provision free schools have already opened across the country since 2010, and more than 80 specialist settings or alternative provision projects are set to open in the coming years.
The investment, which represents a significant single-year increase in high needs capital 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.
Speaking about the investment, nasen’s CEO, Professor Adam Boddison said: ‘Given the growing demand for high-quality specialist provision, this increase in high needs funding is a welcome investment. I hope that Local Authorities will work in partnership with schools, specialist settings and families so that this funding is targeted to secure long term benefits for learners with SEND.’