Education Secretary Damian Hinds asks how funding for pupils with special needs and disabilities can be improved

Imani Cottrell
Friday, May 10, 2019

Children’s communication charity I CAN welcomes the education Secretary Damian Hinds call for evidence on the funding system for pupils with special education needs and disabilities (SEND) to make it more effective.

In a speech at a recent conference of the National Association of Head Teachers, Damian Hinds outlined his plan to ask schools and colleges for their views on the most effective way to make funding arrangements for pupils with SEND.

Bob Reitemeier, I CAN’s chief executive said: ‘We welcome this focus on ensuring funding arrangements effectively meet the needs of pupils with complex SEND.

‘As stressed in the Bercow: Ten Years On recommendations, it is imperative that all teachers are teachers of SEND.’

The Bercow report was published in 2008 by MP John Bercow outlining the findings of a review into the provisions for children with speech, language and communication needs with recommendations on what could be improved.

Ten years on: What did we learn from Bercow?

According to the Department of Education (DfE) almost 120,000 pupils in mainstream, and 112,000 pupils in special schools have Education Health and Care Plans (EHCPs), which provide tailored learning to those with the most complex needs. 

However, Mr Reitemeier also said: ‘In reality the majority of children with SEND are in mainstream schools without EHCPs.’

I CAN’s mission is that ‘no child should be left out or left behind’ due to communication difficulties and will provide evidence to the Call for Evidence. 

DfE launches call for evidence
On 3 May the DfE launched a consultation on financing SEND provision – a call for evidence. It says it is ‘inviting interested individuals and organisations to consider aspects of the financial system for special educational needs (SEN) and high needs funding in England that may be adversely influencing local authorities, mainstream schools, colleges and other education providers in their support for children and young people with SEN, those who are disabled, those who require alternative provision (AP) and those at risk of exclusion from school’.

The call for evidence will run until 31 July.

Access the consultation here

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