Mark Whitehead 17 March 2023

Cambridgeshire receives £49m to improve SEND provision

Cambridgeshire receives £49m to improve SEND provision   image
Image: Ormalternative/Shutterstock.com.

Almost 600 new school places for children with additional needs will be created in Cambridgeshire after an agreement was reached between the county council and the Government.

The council will be given an extra £49m through the Safety Valve programme which means it will be able to balance its budget by 2026/7.

The Government has also allocated a further £11.3m for capital funding to Cambridgeshire to support new SEND provision on mainstream school sites.

Requests for help for children with special needs in the county have more than doubled from 3,429 in 2016 to more than 7,000 now.

The council will use the new funding to create 463 new special school places and there will also be extra support for 105 pupils at mainstream schools.

As part of the agreement, the council has committed to deliver changes to make the system sustainable in the long term.

Cllr Bryony Goodliffe, chair of the county council’s children and young people committee, said: ‘We have seen a sharp rise in the number of young people with additional needs in recent years and funding from Government has not kept pace with that demand, something which is now being recognised.

‘Moreover, by awarding us the level of funding that we requested it has been recognised that we are a council that can be counted on to spend the funding wisely and work sensitively with parents and carers of children with SEND – of which I am one - to achieve some challenging changes which is testament to our team here and the great work they are doing.’

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