‘Make mainstream schools more inclusive’

This comes after the Government announced an extra £700 million for supporting children and young people with special educational needs and disabilities (SEND) in the Spending Round, and launched a review of services.

The LGA said the review should include boosting provision of support for pupils with SEND in mainstream schools.

Mainstream schools say they are increasingly unable to meet the needs of children with SEND, due to a combination of funding constraints, accountability pressures and curriculum changes, according to a recent LGA report.

The survey, based on responses from 93 councils in England, also found more parents are losing confidence in the ability of the mainstream sector to cater for their child’s needs.

Cllr Judith Blake, Chair of the LGA’s Children and Young People Board, said: “The extra £700 million for SEND announced in the Spending Round will help councils to meet the rising demand for support next year and we are pleased the Government has also launched a review of the system.

“Reform is needed and councils want to work with the Government, families and children with SEND on the forthcoming cross-government review to get a clear picture of why demand and cost pressures are continuing to rise and what can be done to make the system work more effectively for everyone.”

The LGA’s survey findings were supported by a new report from the National Audit Office, which found that the requirement for schools to fund the first £6,000 of support for SEND pupils “may incentivise schools to be less inclusive”.

The Children’s Commissioner Anne Longfield also included calls for more funding for SEND as part of the six pledges in her recent children’s manifesto.

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