Dr Mary Bousted, Joint General Secretary of the NEU, said:

“Our most vulnerable children are being harmed by shortfalls in SEND funding and provision. There are now over 430,000 young people with an Education Health and Care Plan (EHCP), an increase of 10% on 2020 and 79% on 2015. The system cannot cope and what’s more, the increasing numbers are being educated in inappropriate settings, including private settings with high prices and poor facilities.

“The Government has put more money into SEND funding, but nothing like enough to solve the problem. NEU analysis indicates that the High Needs Block should be £2.5bn a year higher, assuming the 2021/22 number of EHCPs were funded at the 2015/16 rate. 

“We need locally-run, appropriate and inclusive education for all SEND students. The Government’s SEND Review contains no realistic proposals to change the system and no new money. The NEU fears the Government will change definitions of need using tariffs and banding in order to square the circle.”


Note to editors

We are currently in Bournemouth for our Annual Conference (11-14 April), during which time you will receive a higher number of press releases than usual.  

The Conference Press Office can be reached on 07879 480 061. You can also email the press officer at caroline.cowie@neu.org.uk  

Our conference agenda is available here

The hashtag for Annual Conference is #NEU2022 

  • The National Education Union stands up for the future of education. It brings together the voices of more than 450,000 teachers, lecturers, support staff and leaders working in maintained and independent schools and colleges across the UK, to form the largest education union in Europe. 
  • It is an independent, registered trade union and professional association, representing its members in England, Wales, Northern Ireland, Scotland, the Isle of Man and the Channel Islands. 

The National Education Union is affiliated to the Trades Union Congress (TUC), European Trade Union Committee for Education (ETUCE) and Education International (EI). It is not affiliated to any political party and seeks to work constructively with all the main political parties.