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next steps for SEN funding

3 May 2019

The Secretary of State for Education is reportedly announcing a call for evidence on the issue of SEN funding today.

The Secretary of State will ask schools and colleges to provide evidence on how SEN funding in England could become more effective as the needs of children change and the support schools provide becomes more tailored and complex. This evidence will apparently enable the DfE to have "the best understanding of how the system for funding high-needs children is operating on the ground, "and whether there are improvements we can make so every pound of public money we spend is building opportunities for young people". The call for evidence period will run until the end of July 2019 and comes on the back of a number of increasingly high profile legal cases against local authorities regarding cuts to, and decisions about the level of, SEN funding.

There is currently a case against the DfE regarding the level of funding provided to local authorities to meet the needs of children with SEND, although it is not known whether such legal action has influenced DfE thinking in this area.

Schools and Colleges may be encouraged by the DfE’s move on this issue and should take part in the call for evidence to provide clear evidence of any shortfalls in funding on SEND and the impact that has on provision for all children. The importance of the consultation will only be clear when or if changes are proposed to funding in this key area.

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