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MP presses Education Secretary to fully fund support for children with special needs

November 12, 2018 5:05 PM

Tim in ParliamentLocal MP Tim Farron has urged the Government to change its policy on school funding which is putting off schools from choosing to take on children with special needs.

Speaking in the House of Commons, Tim said: "A huge block to social mobility is the Government's policy of forcing schools to pay the first £6,000 of the cost of supporting children with special needs.

"Does the minister accept that this penalises schools for taking students with additional needs, incentivises the wrong thing, impoverishes those schools who do the right thing, and most of all hurts children with special needs and their families?

"So will the minister agree then to fully fund Education Health Care plans?"

In response, the Education Secretary dodged answering whether his Department would fund EHCPs and said that the policy of schools paying the first £6,000 of support was currently under review.

Speaking afterwards, Tim said: "I was disappointed with the minister's vague reply.

"Surely it can't be right that head teachers are left in a situation where the more pupils they have with special needs, the worse it is financially for their school.

"We all want our kids to have the best start in life, but those children with special needs are having that chance taken away as a result of the Government's ill-thought out policy."