Projects worth over £42 million to help raise educational standards, improve services and provide practical support to disadvantaged families and children with disabilities have had their funding extended in UK.
On Wednesday 10 February, the UK Government announced it will re-award current contracts and grants which enable schools, colleges, families and local authorities, to support thousands of children with disabilities. This includes extending an advice helpline and increased funding for local parent carer forums, support to improve how councils provide local services and improved training for education staff in working with children and young people with specific needs such as autism.
The multi-million pound package of support includes more than £27 million for the Family Fund which supports low-income parents raising children with serious illnesses or disabilities with the cost of equipment, goods or services – from washing machines and fridges to sensory and educational equipment that they might not otherwise be able to afford.
The Department has also launched a consultation with proposed changes to the funding formula that will calculate allocations of high needs funding in 2022-23, to ensure funding is directed where it is needed most.
Alongside this, work on the government’s review of the children with disabilities education system continues to help make sure children and families with the most complex needs are supported throughout school and into adulthood.
“We know that the impact of being out of education can be greatest on those children and young people with special education needs and disabilities. which That is why, during the current lockdown, we have made sure that schools and colleges should continue to welcome those with Education Health and Care plans to attend where possible.” said Children’s Minister Vicky Ford
Projects sharing the £42 million will continue to focus on:
- Targeted support: monitoring, support and intervention to improve local authorities and partners’ delivery of statutory SEND services, with an emphasis on underperforming areas;
- Direct support to schools and colleges: to help them work effectively with children with disabilities; for example through training on specific needs like autism.
- Participation of parents and young people: to ensure their effective involvement in designing children with disabilities policies and services, including in response to the pandemic, and to ensure that they are able to access high quality and impartial information, advice and support
- Quality of family life: to help low-income families with seriously ill or disabled children with the cost of equipment, goods or services – from washing machines and fridges to sensory and educational equipment that they might not otherwise be able to afford.