TENS of thousands of children with special educational needs and disabilities will benefit from a £2.6 billion investment in new school places that is aimed at giving them the ‘best possible start in life’, the Chancellor is expected to announce.
At Wednesday’s Budget, Rishi Sunak is set to almost triple the amount of this year’s capital funding for the most disadvantaged young people through specialised educational support, consequently levelling up outcomes and support for their families.
Chancellor of the Exchequer, Rishi Sunak, said:
“I want every child to have the best possible start in life and to fulfil their potential.
“That’s why we’re taking action to fund tens of thousands of new places for students with special needs and disabilities – improving the lives of so many of the nation’s most vulnerable children.”
The investment will be used to fund:
- More than 30,000 new high-quality school places for pupils with special educational needs and disabilities to support their learning in both mainstream and special educational needs schools;
- Improvement in the suitability and accessibility of existing buildings recently recommended in the government’s recently launched National Disability Strategy;
- New special and alternative provision free schools to help drive up standards in special education.
The record announcement reflects the government’s commitment to supporting an inclusive education system for children that allows everyone to thrive.
With the school-age population expected to be around 10% higher in 2025 than it was in 2010, there is rising demand for specialist support.
The government says that not only does the increased funding allow local authorities to invest more in creating high-quality school places, but it will also make facilities and buildings more accessible.
Research suggests that being in overcrowded buildings negatively impacts pupil attainment so this infrastructure investment will ensure that pupils with special educational needs and disabilities receive the same opportunities as any other student.
At last year’s Spending Review, the government announced £300m of investment in 21-22 for new places for students with special educational needs and disabilities– which was itself almost four times as much provided in the previous year.
By creating more suitable places, the government adds this funding will also support pupils to have access to a high-quality place close to home, no matter where they live.
The Scottish Government, Northern Ireland Executive and Welsh Government will all receive proportionate funding following the Barnett formula which will be outlined fully at the Spending Review.