News shared by the office of Bob Seely, their own words. Ed
Children and Families Minister – Vicky Ford – confirmed to Isle of Wight Conservative MP Bob Seely that the Isle of Wight would benefit from nearly £850,000 of funding for children with special educational needs and disabilities (SEND).
The Minister confirmed the figure on Tuesday during a Westminster Hall debate – called for by Mr Seely – about support for children with Special Educational Needs and Disabilities (SEND) on the Isle of Wight.
Debated called by Seely
Mr Seely called the debate to discuss the Isle of Wight’s needs with regard to the number of children covered by SEND provision and Education and Health Care plans (EHCP) – plans which outline any special educational needs a child has and what the local authority must do to help them.
Higher percentage of children with SEND and EHCP
Mr Seely raised the fact that the Island had a higher percentage of children with SEND and EHCP – 4.4 per cent compared to the national average of 3.1 per cent. This, he said, puts pressure on schools who are obliged to fund the first £6,000 for each SEND or EHCP child.
He also raised concerns that if this were to rise this would put schools under severe strain.
How will review help Island schools?
Bob asked how Island schools would be helped to cope with a caseload that is significantly higher than the national average, how the forthcoming review of the high needs funding formula would better support Island children and families, and for reassurance that the review into special needs would take into account evidence from authorities such as the Isle of Wight.
The Minister recognised that the demand for EHCP plans on the Isle of Wight was high and the challenges this can cause in ensuring every child and young person has provision to meet their needs.
£849,000 for reviewing special schools’ capital provision
The Minister said:
“We are planning to start a review of the high needs funding formula later this year including the £6,000 contribution as part of the call for evidence, and we will comment on that in due course and write to the honourable member for the Island on this.
“The Isle of Wight has been allocated a total of £849,000 to review their special schools’ capital provision which is a key part of making sure specialist schools places are available, where needed, for those with the most complex issues.”
The Minister said it was the Government’s ambition for every child – no matter what challenges they face – to have access to world class education that helps set them up for life.
Watch the 27 minute debate below.