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Empowering People, Launching lives

The £1 billion SEN deficit

Author: Tracie Coultas-Pitman, CEO


21st June 2024 | 1 min read

Recent reporting by the BBC has revealed that councils in England are facing a nearly £1 billion deficit in school funds for supporting SEN students, a figure which is a marked omission from the manifestos of the main parties for the upcoming election. With almost 600,000 children and young people currently holding an EHCP – and an increase last year of 26% for new EHCPs – the growing demand for SEN services is clearly outpacing government funding.

It doesn’t need to be this way. In response to growing pressures for SEN support, we’ve established BeyondAutism Fast Responder®: an innovative service that offers collaborative, person-centered, proactive support including rapid response within 24 hours. It supports children no matter where they are on their autism diagnosis journey and regardless of whether an EHCP is in place yet or not.

BeyondAutism Fast Responder® has a significant impact on reducing the rate of costly suspensions and exclusions among SEN students, who are twice as likely to be excluded as their non-SEN peers. The cost of exclusion can reach £370,000 over a child’s lifetime. During our pilot phase, one Local Authority partner estimated saving £1,611 per pupil with an EHCP and £15,334 per pupil with SEN support by avoiding the need for an EHCP. Additionally, 96% of pupils in our pilot successfully remained in their school without further suspensions.

It’s not all about the money, BeyondAutism Fast Responder® provides immediate support to children in need and fosters a school-wide shift towards a more inclusive culture. Staying in school provides stability for the child, allowing them to build on previous knowledge without disruption and enhancing their future employability prospects. It also provides peace of mind for parents knowing their child is in a supportive and consistent learning environment.

We can’t afford for things to get worse. Follow the link to find out more about how you can make a difference in bridging the gap between funding and essential support.

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