Improving schools for children with special needs consultation
The Department for Education (DfE) has allocated £1.6 million of funding to us – as part of £215 million made available across the country. The funding can be used to improve special provision for children and young people with education, health and care (EHC) plans. Support for special education needs and disabled children is provided in a variety of settings, for example special schools, mainstream schools, early years settings and further education colleges. Some of Central Bedfordshire children also access support in schools outside of the Central Bedfordshire border.
The money is termed as capital funding, which means it can only be used to invest in adapting or expanding buildings and facilities.
This funding will be made in three stages over three years, with around £500,000 available in the first year.
We already plan for creating more school places and making improvements to school facilities however, this additional funding means we can do more than we had planned.
We recently reviewed the capacity of our special schools. This review has shown that all four special schools in Central Bedfordshire are over capacity – that means they need more space to be able to provide the best support and education. There has been a significant 20% increase over the last two years in the number of local children with Education, Health and Care (EHC) plans, this is putting more and more pressure on special needs provision.
To help us develop our specific proposals we have already engaged with parents, through the Special Needs Action Panel (SNAP) and our special schools.
This consultation is to help us decide how best to spend this year’s funding and future phases of funding.