https://dfemedia.blog.gov.uk/2019/10/23/provision-for-high-needs/

Provision for high needs

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Today’s Education in the Media blog looks at the Education Select Committee’s report on high needs provision, as well as our package to support care leavers, and the National Retraining Scheme.

SEND Provision

Today, Wednesday 23 October, the Education Select Committee published a report on provision and support for children with special educational needs and disabilities (SEND). The report says that there has been a lack of funding for SEND provision. This was covered in the Times, the Guardian, the Independent, the Mail, the Mirror and BBC online

As part of our funding announcement at the end of August, we announced an increase of £780million  for the high needs budget. In addition to this, Ofsted’s new inspection arrangements have a strong focus on provision and outcomes for pupils with SEND, setting an expectation that in a ‘good’ school all pupils, including those with SEND, benefit from a broad and ambitious curriculum and achieve the best possible outcomes.

A Department for Education spokesperson said:

No child should be held back from reaching their potential, including those with special educational needs.

That’s why we recently announced a £780 million increase to local authorities’ high needs funding, boosting the budget by 12% and bringing the total spent on supporting those with the most complex needs to over £7 billion for 2020-21.

This report recognises the improvements made to the system over five years ago were the right ones, and put families and children at the heart of the process. But through our review of these reforms, we are focused on making sure they work for every child, in every part of the country.

Care Leavers Support Package

Today, Wednesday 23 October, the Secretary of State announced £19 million for programmes to improve support for young people leaving care. This was covered in The I.

The new funding includes £10 million to create stable homes for care leavers as they become adults; £6 million to support young people leaving care to live independently and £3 million to help care leavers go into further education. Alongside this, the Education Secretary has committed to delivering 1,000 internships for care leavers over the next two years to help secure long term, quality jobs for care leavers.

Education Secretary Gavin Williamson said:

Young people leaving care face enormous barriers in their lives as they move towards independence, from not having a trusted person in their life to rely on, to not having a safe home to return to at the end of the day.

Housing, healthcare and education are three of the biggest obstacles they have to overcome. We all have a responsibility to do better for them – so I’m bringing together colleagues from across government to join me in transforming the support we offer care leavers in all of these key areas to make the biggest difference in their lives.

This starts immediately, because we must raise the bar for these young people, to give them greater stability and a strong sense of purpose in adulthood.

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