Tackling London’s special educational needs budget funding gap

  • By jourdanwongmuhammad

London borough leads on education and children’s services will meet to explore the increasing pressures facing the delivery of services for children with Special Educational Needs and Disabilities (SEND) in a London Councils event today.

In London the number of pupils with Education, Health and Care Plans – the measure of more complex special educational needs and disabilities – has increased by 10 per cent since 2013/14, a higher rate of growth than seen in any other region in England. 

London boroughs are exceeding their budgets in order to ensure all our children are able to receive a high quality education tailored to their needs. Recent analysis by London Councils has revealed that London boroughs budgets for SEND provision were underfunded by £100 million. 

Today’s event will bring together councillors and senior officers to probe the issues behind the increase in demand and costs, and the impact these pressures are having locally.

The event will be chaired by Cllr Peter John, deputy chair of London Councils and executive member for schools, and will set out the challenges that boroughs face in managing SEND provision. Guest speakers will include Thomas Murphy, Assistant Director, LB Hillingdon and Tracy Russell, Assistant Director, Royal Borough of Greenwich.
Cllr Peter John OBE, London Council’s executive member with responsibility for schools said:

“Boroughs are committed to providing support to meet every child’s needs and ensure young people with SEND have access to good quality education, which the capital’s excellent schools and colleges are more than able to provide. 

“However the number of pupils with SEND in London is set to rise in the coming years and existing budgets still do not reflect this. We are bringing together expertise from across the capital to share best practice and develop ways to allow schools and colleges to invest in enabling pupils to make the most of their education.

“We are looking at ways to work with government to review funding allocations and address this £100m shortfall so that schools and colleges across the capital are able to meet the needs of their most vulnerable students.”

Notes to Editors: