Ministers say the new cash will provide high-tech gear such as sensory rooms to help those with complex needs to reach their full potential.
Education Secretary Damian Hinds will today announce that councils will get an extra £250 million over two years – on top of the £6billion provided for high needs in the Budget.
Families will also be offered more choice for their child’s education, after an extra £100 million investment to create more specialist places in mainstream schools, colleges and special schools.
It will give more kids access to a good school or college place that meets their individual needs. This could include more state-of-the-art facilities, such as sensory rooms and specialist equipment.
On top of this, more special free schools will be approved, creating even more choice for parents.
Mr Hinds said: “Being a parent, we all want the very best for our children. We want them to attend a school that supports them to thrive, go on to higher or further education or training, find a job that’s right for them, and to live happy and fulfilled lives.
“For children with special educational needs this is no different. It is important that they have the right support in place at school – whether that is in a mainstream setting, with additional support, or in a special school.
“We recognise that the high needs budget faces significant pressures and this additional investment will help local councils to manage those pressures, whilst being able to invest to provide more support.
“Every school or college should be one for a young person with special educational needs; every teacher should be equipped to teach them, and families need to feel supported.”
The Government has also confirmed an expansion of the funding to train more educational psychologists, who are responsible for assessing children’s needs and providing tailored support as part of the Education, Health and Care needs assessment process.
Educational psychologists also provide outreach to teachers and families, providing new support strategies when the complex needs of a child are not being met. From September 2020 there will be a further three training rounds and an increase in the number of trainees from 160 to at least 206, to help keep up with demand for this specialist advice.
Ofsted boss Amanda Spielman said: “I welcome this announcement, which is good news for children with special educational needs and disabilities and their families.
“Our inspections show that we still have a long way to go before these children get all the support they deserve. In too many local areas, the implementation of 2014 reforms is not living up to expectations.
“We are halfway through our inspections of local areas and have just started to re-visit areas where inspectors have identified significant concerns.
“It is vital that this additional investment makes a much-needed difference to the quality of provision and outcomes achieved by this group of children and young people.”
Paul Whiteman, leader of the National Association of Head Teachers, said: “This is a positive move and should be welcomed.
“We congratulate the Secretary of State, on finding some spare cash at the end of the year, for recognising that it should go to the most vulnerable and the most in need in our school system, and for committing to more research and a more strategic approach to funding in the future.”
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