Posted on Thursday 29th September 2022
More than £16 million is earmarked for creating new supported places in mainstream education and improving existing provision for SEND pupils.
Millions of pounds are being committed to educating more SEND children in mainstream schools.
Staffordshire County Council is allocating up to £16.4 million this year and 2023/24 towards both creating new places and improving existing provision for children and young people with special educations needs and disabilities.
Money will be spent on developing support for SEND pupils to be educated in local mainstream schools, where appropriate, while the availability of high needs places will be increased in special schools to reduce the number of children being educated further afield.
Jonathan Price, Staffordshire County Council’s Cabinet member for Education and SEND, said:
Putting the right support in place in mainstream schools allows us to teach more children locally in their communities, rather than travelling each day to special schools often some distance away.
Parents have told us that this what they want and we’re working with them and with schools to make this happen.”
The County Council’s Prosperous Staffordshire Scrutiny Committee heard today that parents, pupils and other stakeholders had been consulted this summer over the approach, with the vast majority of those responding agreeing with it.
- The number of pupils with an Education Health and Care Plan (EHCP) stands at 6,697, an increase of one per cent over five years to 4.3 per cent;
- That proportion is higher than the West Midlands average of 3.8 per cent;
- The proportion of children with an EHCP in mainstream education is 29 per cent, compared to 39 per cent nationally.
Jonathan Price added:
We will be looking across the county to see where there is the greatest need and we will take action accordingly.
This is a good news story of massively increased funding for an area where we can work with families to make a real difference so that their children, and pupils in future years, can be given the best opportunities to reach their potential by receiving the right support in their own communities.”
On Monday, 3rd October, almost 300 people ranging from parents and carers to representatives of the county council and NHS will be meeting to discuss the way forward for implementing the new approach and the sharing of best practice across the eight districts and boroughs.