Posted on Monday 13th Jun 2016
Plans to shake up special educational needs funding could see special units in mainstream schools close, a teaching union says.
The National Association of Head Teachers said reducing the per-place funding for such units from £10,000 to £6,000 a year would be "disastrous".
It also said the plans would not address the wide disparity in funding for children with similar needs.
The government says it has boosted high needs funding by £90m this year.
In its report, Getting it right: Funding pupils with complex needs, the NAHT looks at the impact of the proposed changes to the funding for children with high special educational needs.
The changes include basing the way funds are allocated to local authorities on the number of two- to 18-year-olds in the area.
This will then be modified by three factors - the number of children in bad health or on a disability benefit, low attainment and deprivation levels in the area.
But the NAHT says the proposals do not address the so-called "top up" funding for children with very complex needs, where there are big differences in funding.
The variability in funding levels means children with very similar needs could attract £2,000 of education funding in one local authority but £20,000 in another.
"This is clearly unacceptable and the DfE needs to develop parameters and controls to ensure that funding is fairly distributed within local authorities," the NAHT said.
Kim Johnson, president of NAHT and principal of Bradfields Specialist SEN Academy, chatham, Kent, says: "Those of us who are passionate about the education of children with high and complex needs have been pressing for this review of high needs funding for a long time.
"We desperately need a new approach that creates greater consistency and transparency.
"But we also need to be mindful that local authorities have taken very different approaches and that the transition to such an approach could result in some significant changes."
15/09/20Heads warn of teacher shortages without Covid tests
Schools in England are being "severely hampered" by delays in Covid tests for teachers, say head teachers.
10/09/201 in 10 pupils not in school, admits PM
Boris Johnson reveals that 89% of pupils have returned to school since classrooms opened for the autumn term
04/09/20The changes to expect at schools in Kent as coronavirus safety measures are introduced
As a raft of new safety measures are in schools, this is what to expect under the 'new normal'.
03/09/20Special school heads think 14% of their children won’t be back
By Amy Skipp September 3, 2020
02/09/20Thousands of new special school places announced
Thousands of new school places will be created for children with special educational needs and disabilities (SEND) with 35 new free special schools, the government has announced.