Friday, February 3, 2012

Campaign success: Local authority funding for SEN safeguarded

The NAS has welcomed the Government’s announcement that local authorities will continue to receive funding for SEN services, no matter how many academies they have in their area.

This commitment follows successful campaigning on this issue by the NAS and our colleagues in the Special Educational Consortium (SEC) during the passage of the Academies Act 2010.

This decision has two important implications:

- A local authority should not now cut SEN support services on the basis that a number of academies have opened in that area. Where there are academies in a local authority area, that local authority will now retain the money to keep SEN support services available;

- As they are retaining the money for SEN support services that was previously being delegated to academies, local authorities should provide these services to children in academies.

We know that many local authorities are currently setting their budgets. We would urge these authorities to consider any decision about funding SEN specialist services in light of this new information.

NAS and SEC continue to work with the Department for Education to ensure the wider changes to school funding do not disadvantage disabled children and children with SEN.

In the meantime we welcome the Government’s continued protection of specialist provision for disabled children and children with SEN through these support services.