Greater support for children with additional educational needs


Nine projects across the UK will share £4 million as the government aims to help children in alternative provision to reach their full potential.

The funding, announced by schools standards minister Nick Gibb, will focus on children that are taught outside of special schools and mainstream education.

Careers advice, behaviour monitoring services and work placements are just a few of the support options being mooted.

The funding aims to boost outcomes among those in alternative provision and to help children to return to classroom environments where possible.

Programmes of support will also be available to parents and carers, enabling them to promote education and to support young people when they most need it.

The aim to ensure that young people can achieve good grades at GCSE level and go on to further education, vocational roles or employment.

Literacy and maths tutoring will be provided via the projects, while another is set to support the introduction of robots in hospitals so that child can take part in virtual lessons.

Efforts to boost mental health support for youngsters and carer coaching will also be introduced from September this year.

The projects are set to cover the East and West Midlands, London, the South West and South East, Yorkshire and the Humber, and the East of England.

Mr Gibb said that the government wants to ensure that raised standards are seen by all individuals in the education system.

“Every child, no matter the challenges they face in their life, should have the opportunity to fulfil their potential through an excellent education,” he said.

“There are some excellent examples of alternative provision in the education system, but we need to raise standards across the board if we want to give every young person the opportunity to succeed.”

He added that the new funding – made available from the Alternative Provision Innovation Fund initially unveiled in March – will help to ensure that support can be tailored to the individual needs of children.

Dame Christine Lenehan, Director of the Council for Disabled Children, welcomed the government’s announcement and said she is keen to see how innovative approaches transform alternative provision.