Commenting on Special Educational Needs and Disabilities, a report by the House of Commons Education Committee, Kevin Courtney, Joint General Secretary of the National Education Union, said:

“Today’s report is a stark lesson for Government in the consequences of short-termism and buck-passing. The culture this creates is an incubator for further difficulties in later life.

“Schools and local authorities want to provide the best possible support for SEND pupils, but the tools needed are generally no longer available due to cuts to local services. Fundamentally it is a question of central funding which has simply not kept up with demand. 93% of local authorities have lost out on SEND funding since 2015 because of Government cuts to special needs provision. The recent announcement of an additional £780 million for SEND is clearly inadequate in the face of a £1.7 billion shortfall.

“The wider picture is that the real-terms funding crisis in schools and colleges has damaged the support available to SEND pupils. It has resulted in the letting go of teaching assistants and specialist staff. Meanwhile, the number of children with Education Health and Care plans increases.

“Children have one chance in education, and SEND pupils need the right levels of funding right now.”