£80m boost for SEND funding

Minister Edward Timpson recently announced an £80 million boost to council and support charity funding. The funding includes:

  • £27.3 million for the Family Fund Trust in 2016 to 2017 to support low income families with disabled children – they provide small scale grants, enabling them to make specific purchases and offering short respite breaks
  • £15 million to fund the independent supporters programme in 2016 to 2017, run by the Council for Disabled Children – this is a crucial catalyst for change, helping to support families and young people to navigate the system, and creating overwhelmingly positive experiences for them
  • £2.3 million for Parent Carer Forums in 2016 to 2017, who bring parents together to provide invaluable support and advice for families

Children and families minister Edward Timpson has said that the £80 million will help transform the opportunities available to all children across the country despite challenges they may face. Due to the government reforms, the needs of children with complex SEND are now all set out in one plan known as Education, Health and Care (EHC) plan. The EHC plan is for children and young people up to 25 who require more support than is offered by special educational needs support.

Although, any increase in education funding will surely be welcome news across the sector, the effect of static or declining mainstream funding and rising costs mean that schools are having to take tough decisions to balance the books.