All areas in UK to see an increase in school special educational needs places, says Secretary Of State

All areas in UK to see an increase in school special educational needs places, says Secretary Of State
Gabrielle Wilde

By Gabrielle Wilde

Published: 26/03/2024

- 10:50

Updated: 26/03/2024

- 10:51

Gillian Keegan spoke to GB News this morning

Education Secretary Gillian Keegan has said that all areas of the UK will see an increase in the number of school places for pupils with special educational needs with a funding boost of £850 million.

She told GB News: “What we're trying to do is expand the number of places for special educational needs, so everybody, every parent who's listening who has a child with special educational needs, may have felt at times that they're sort of battling to try and get the right support or the right provision because we've had a massive increase in demand.

“What we've been doing over time is increasing the number of places…putting more money into it, £2.6 billion. This is the last tranche today, £850 million, and overall, that will increase the number of special educational places by 60,000 all across the country so every area will get an increase in capacity.”

In a discussion during Breakfast with Eamonn Holmes and Isabel Webster, she continued: “We do have a special educational needs improvement plan and that shows that we know that we need to improve the system.

“There's a number of strands to that so there'll be a more workforce being trained as well, educational psychologists SENCOs etc. So there's a lot of things in the plan but this specifically is looking at more places.

“The council pressures have increased, this sort of high needs budget to pay for this part of their budget…that's actually gone up 60% In the last five years to cope with that increased demand.”

She added: “We also do also have to programmes to work with councils delivering better value…we know it's not equal and it has gone up quite considerably, because we just have more children with special educational needs, probably because we know more about special educational needs and we care about making sure we get the right provision for children.”

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