Councils are supporting more than 130 extra children and young people with special education needs every day, new figures have revealed.
The figures show 48,900 children and young people in England received new Education, Health and Care (EHC) plans in 2018.
The Local Government Association (LGA) said that changes in legislation to extend support for 16-25 year olds has led to resulted in an increase of nearly 50% in children and young people with EHC plans in the last five years.
The LGA warned warned councils are facing a SEND funding gap of up to £1.6bn by 2021 due to unprecedented demand.
Chair of the LGA’s Children and Young People Board, Cllr Anntoinette Bramble, said: ‘We face a national emergency providing the vital care and support children and young people with SEND so desperately rely on, and the Government must address this in the Spending Review.
’The fact more than 130 children and young people are starting support plans with their council every day demonstrates the colossal demand pressures local authorities are under, and the need for this to be properly funded by government.’