As someone with a background in education policy, I'm delighted that the Government has provided councils with an additional £280 million to create new places in schools, academies, colleges and early years settings for young people with special educational needs and disabilities (SEND).
This will improve existing provision to create modern, fit-for-purpose spaces suited to a wider range of pupil needs. This could be by contributing to the cost of creating a whole new special school, or by improving accessibility, such as installing ramps, handrails or ceiling hoists.
This announcement follows the £365 million allocated through the Special Provision Capital Fund to create places and improve facilities for pupils with SEND across 2018 to 2021, as well as adding to the Government’s ongoing SEND Review, which is looking at ways to make sure the system is consistent, high-quality and integrated across education, health and care.
It also builds on the Government’s continued investment in the Free Schools programme. 59 special and 49 Alternative Provision free schools have already opened across the country since 2010, and more than 80 specialist settings or alternative provision projects are set to open in the coming years.
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