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Councils facing £472 million deficit in SEND funding

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Cllr Anntoinette Bramble, Chair of the Local Government Association’s Children and Young People Board, has responded to the announcement by the Department for Education of funding to support children with special educational needs and disabilities.

Praising the Government’s recognition of the issues begin faced by Councils across the country, Cllr Anntoinette Bramble stated “The LGA has worked hard to raise concerns around the huge financial pressures on councils and schools to meet the growing demand for support for children with special educational needs and disabilities. We are pleased the Government has listened to our concerns and will provide an emergency injection of desperately-needed money to tackle this crisis.

However, she was sceptical as to how far these funds would go towards resolving the issue as she declared that the deficit could alomost double to over £800 million within the next 12 months.

Cllr Bramble highlighted that Councils have been very resourceful in light of the funding shortages, but stated that “the money is simply not there to keep up with demand, pushing support for children with SEND to a tipping point.”.

In response to the Department for Education’s acceptance that a review of SEND support is needed across the board, she called for greater incentives to be given to mainstream schools to accept greater numbers of SEND pupils and provide them with the support that they need.