The funding crisis in special needs education is deepening, with council overspends on support for children with conditions including autism and attention deficit hyperactivity disorder rising by 30% in just a year, the Observer can reveal.
Figures sourced under the Freedom of Information Act from 118 of the 151 local authorities in England show that councils are expecting to overspend their high needs block budgets by £288m in 2019-20 – up from £232m in 2018-19. When money raided from mainstream schools budgets is included, however, these figures rise to £315m in 2018-19 and nearly £410m this year – a rise of almost 30% in the space of 12 months.
Gillian Doherty, who founded Send Action which campaigns for children with special needs, said: “There’s no doubt that government underfunding is having a negative effect on the educational outcomes and life chances of disabled children, undermining inclusion and increasingly raising serious safeguarding concerns due to inadequate staffing ratios.”
Read the full article Special educational needs crisis deepens as councils bust their budgets
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