Great article and film from @branwenjeffreys
Overspending on special needs is stretching council budgets to near breaking point. This is being driven by an increase in both demand and the complexity of cases, and the cost of this is falling squarely on councils at a time when their budgets have decreased considerably since 2011. In one way this is a success story as many children who would not have previously survived, now live longer and more fulfilling lives. But while demand and cost is growing, what is most important is that the right outcomes for children are secured.
An unhealthy dynamic is developing that is eroding trust between parents, schools and councils. This lack of trust is awful for parents but also can result in a child being compromised as more services and money are fought for. People and organisations that should be working together are often becoming more and more adversarial. We have to remember that special educational needs and disability should not automatically mean a lifetime of care. Children need support that enables them to achieve their potential as part of society, depending on their need. We owe it to them not just to increase funding but also to make sure we do not stifle the full and inclusive lives we want them to lead.
Special needs overspend in eight out of 10 councils Branwen Jeffreys Education Editor @branwenjeffreys on Twitter