Plans to extend support for Wakefield pupils with SEND with £4m investment

Wakefield Council plans to expand its support for pupils with Special Education Needs (SEND) with an investment of nearly £4 million.

By Leanne Clarke
Thursday, 14th July 2022, 4:14 pm

The funding, from the Department for Education, is intended to support the development of more provision for SEND pupils from July 2022 until 2023.

A further £3,762,214 has also been allocated by the DfE for 2023-2024.

If approved by senior councillors, at their forthcoming Cabinet meeting, it will be spent the on creating new school places and improving existing facilities, at a time when demand for specialist placements is growing, particularly for children and young people with an Education, Health and Care Plan (EHCP).

The funding, from the Department for Education, is intended to support the development of more provision for SEND pupils from July 2022 until 2023.

In the Wakefield district, and nationally, there has been a significant increase in the number of children and young people with EHCPs over the last few years.

Locally provision has been increased to accommodate those that required specialist provision and this work continues.

The majority of pupils with special educational needs and disabilities are taught in mainstream settings and providing support to improve facilities in these settings is a priority for the council.

One proposal is to set aside £400,000 a year and invite mainstream settings to bid for small grants to enhance their facilities, for example, access to a sensory room or sensory garden, to benefit children and young people with SEND. This was very popular last year with the Local Authority supporting 11 settings to enhance their facilities.

Coun Margaret Isherwood, Wakefield Council’s Cabinet Member for Children and Young People, said: “These plans will give children the best start in life and ensure they lead happy, healthy lives, and achieve the best outcomes.

“It will enable us to be responsive and meet future needs that will see more children and young people requiring support.

“Our priority is to have diverse and inclusive schools that keep children in mainstream schools fully supported.”