ASCL comment on SEND report

11/09/2019
Geoff Barton, General Secretary of the Association of School and College Leaders, responds to the National Audit Office report on support for pupils with special educational needs and disabilities in England
 
Responding to the National Audit Office report on support for pupils with special educational needs and disabilities in England, Geoff Barton, General Secretary of the Association of School and College Leaders, said:
 
“This report highlights the fact that the system for supporting children with special educational needs is creaking at the seams because the level of government funding is inadequate. It rightly concludes that the current situation is unsustainable.
 
“The government has recognised the urgency of this crisis with a commitment to spend an additional £700m in 2020/21. This is a welcome step in the right direction. However, evidence to the House of Commons Education Committee has put the shortfall at between £1.2bn and £1.6bn, and it is clear that further investment will be needed.
 
“The National Audit Office report raises concerns that the demand for special school places is growing because the system incentivises mainstream primary and secondary schools to be less inclusive. Our experience is that the vast majority of mainstream schools strive to be inclusive and that they do an excellent job in providing support for children with special educational needs despite huge pressures on their funding.”