A £10million shortfall in the cost of providing vital support for more than 2,000 vulnerable and disadvantaged children and young adults in Hackney last year shows why the government’s funding freeze on special educational needs and disabilities must end, Hackney Council has warned ministers.
In a letter to Rt Hon Gavin Williamson MP, Secretary of State for Education, the Council has called for a new funding model to help pay for services which have reached breaking point since the government gave councils responsibility for helping more pupils without the funds to match.
Local authorities across the country are now responding to increases in demand for care plans for disabled children and young adults. In Hackney 2,308 pupils now have Education and Health Care Plans (EHCPs) outlining support needs, at a cost of £9.9million last year – only £4million of which was covered by the additional government funding announced last year.
Last year the Council joined parents, carers, teachers and young people on the national SEND Crisis March, and earlier this year Deputy Mayor Cllr Anntoinnette Bramble, Cabinet Member for Education, Young People and Children’s Social Care, joined Tower Hamlets Council in presenting a £12million invoice to government to cover the shortfall in the cost of SEND support.