The number of children in England approaching councils for special needs support has increased by almost a quarter in a year, latest figures reveal, with 170 young people now starting support plans each day.
"It is good the Government has acted on our call for councils to be allowed to establish their own multi-academy trusts. This recognises the important role of councils as education partners and enables maintained schools to continue enjoying a close working relationship with their council."
"We are looking to the Queen’s Speech for government to bring forward legislation to ensure all children, including those with special educational needs and disabilities who are more likely to be excluded from school, can benefit from being in full-time education."
“Councils have a crucial role to play in education, from ensuring every child has a school place to turning around struggling schools, and as they showed when providing vital support to schools during the pandemic."
More than a million additional school children could receive free school meals and be entitled to extra support funding if the sign-up process for the scheme was simplified and extended to more families.
"We fully support the investment targeted at ‘cold spot’ areas, to help provide the schooling every child deserves. However, the pandemic has hit the educational attainment of all pupils hard, particularly those from vulnerable backgrounds, and the impact of this will be felt for years to come."
Councils stand ready to help the Government prioritise disadvantaged pupils in its education recovery plan and to prevent the attainment gap between disadvantaged children and young people and their peers from widening further as a result of the pandemic.