A multi-million pound package to support children with special educational needs and disability (SEND) has been announced.
Minister for Vulnerable Children and Families, Edward Timpson, met with members of the National Network of Parent Carer Forums (NNPCF) at the Department for Education on Monday 9 January, where he confirmed funding from April 2017 of nearly £60 million.
This funding will help embed the reforms made to the system of support for SEND and continue the support for the groups who have been instrumental in bringing about the progress seen to date.
The funding announced includes:
- £15 million for the Independent Supporters programme in 2017 to 2018, run by the Council for Disabled Children, this has been a real driver of change for families navigating the SEND system and improving the experience for them
- £2.3 million for Parent Carer Forums in 2017 to 2018, who bring parents together and provide a voice to influence local decision-making
- £1.8 million to Contact a Family, to support individual Parent Carer Forums and their National Network, and to run a national helpline for families
The package also includes funding for councils worth £40 million, which the minister wrote to them about shortly before Christmas. This investment, an increase of £4.2 million from last year (2016 to 2017) will support them to make effective plans for this important final year of the transition to the new SEND system.
Minister Edward Timpson said:
These reforms are the most significant we’ve made to the support for children and young people with special educational needs and disabilities in a generation and we know that they are making a difference, thanks to the passion and dedication of all those involved.
As we enter the final year of the transition, I know there are still challenges to overcome, to ensure that the inspiring work going on in many parts of the country is shared with areas where improvements still need to be made.
That’s why I’m delighted to be able to confirm this additional funding for councils and for the groups playing such a vital role in supporting children with SEND. All children, no matter the obstacles they face, should have the same opportunities for success as any other.
Notes to editors
Read the National Development Team for Inclusion’s independent evaluation of the independent supporters programme: “What works in the delivery of independent support”.