SEND: A new approach to thinking about funding

One of the biggest barriers to effective SEND provision remains inadequate funding. The facts and figures have been well-documented. Please, says inclusion expert Daniel Sobel, we need a new mindset...

The biggest elephant in the room of any discussion around inclusion and in particular SEND is the money it costs.

Local authorities are desperate to reduce their High Needs Block (HNB) funding in the face of an apparent over-application for Education, Health and Care Plans (EHCPs), although this does not explain the blanket-style refusal of applications and the regular trips to the tribunal that I am witness to.

The cost of SEND and inclusion is mind-boggling, but these costs are perhaps felt the most by those trying to balance the books in the average school, where big-hearted intentions meets the stark realities of the annual budget.

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