Spending review to prioritise children with SEND


Those with special educational needs and disabilities (SEND) are a priority in the forthcoming government spending review, the chief secretary to the Treasury has said. Liz Truss, a former education minister, revealed that the government recognises the need for more funding to support those with special educational needs.

During a Local Government Association debate on the spending review, she said that children with SEND are “a real priority”. Adding that while councils are spending more money on high-needs support, it should not impact on schools’ budgets.

It follows schools minister Nick Gibb revealing in April that high-needs funding is causing issues for councils across the country, as there is not the finance available to meet the rapid rise in demand. Education secretary Damian Hinds has also told the Commons Education Select Committee that the SEND funding system is in need of improvement. 

According to the NEU teaching union, the number of children with education, health and care plans has surged by 33% in recent years. Under current regulations, local authorities can move up to 0.5% of their schools’ budget to assist with the funding of high-needs spending, provided that permission is granted by their schools forum.

To move more funding, or to move it in instances where permission is not granted, schools must seek permission from the education secretary.