Dan Peters 28 January 2020

Councils sent back to drawing board on SEND

Councils have been sent back to the drawing board after a quango ripped apart their plans to recover massive special educational needs and disabilities (SEND) deficits.

Director of funding at the Education and Skills Funding Agency (ESFA), Kate Josephs, said talks were ongoing with the 32 local authorities that had to submit a plan by July 2019, outlining how they would recover their SEND deficit within three years.

Southwark and Kingston upon Thames LBCs, Bury MBC and North Somerset Council all warned ESFA they would be unable to recover their deficits within three years and instead submitted more realistic five-year plans.

Since the introduction of the Children and Families Act 2014, which extended eligibility for SEND support, councils believe the Government’s formula has failed to provide enough funding to meet costs.

In a letter to Bournemouth, Christchurch & Poole Council, seen by The MJ, the ESFA’s Owen Jenkins said he had ‘concerns’ about the authority’s limited savings proposals.

Visit The MJ (£) for more on this story.

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