Increased funding for SEND

Ella Rhodes reports.

The government has announced an increase of £350 million in the funding available to help children with special educational needs and disabilities (SEND). This includes money to train more educational psychologists.

From September 2020 there will be an increase in the number of educational trainees from 160 to at least 206, to help meet the demand for the specialist services they provide. The British Psychological Society welcomed the announcement, but emphasised that the assessment and support of children with special educational needs and disabilities had been severely compromised in recent years.

In the five years between 2010 and 2015 there was a 13 per cent reduction in number of educational psychologists working in local authorities and for the first time ever, there are some local authorities without any educational psychology service. Sarb Bajwa, the Society’s Chief Executive, said: ‘We are pleased that the Secretary of State has recognised the need to train more educational psychologists, but we question whether the additional funding will be enough to achieve the government’s ambitions. A clearer workforce plan is needed across education, health and social care.’

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