Special needs education breaking our budgets, warn councils

theguardian | July 19, 2019

Special needs education breaking our budgets, warn councils
County councils across England are warning that the cost of covering special needs education is breaking their budgets, with local authorities overspending by more than £100m last year to meet the sharp rise in demand. Research by the County Councils Network found that some councils had recorded a 90% increase in young people being given care plans requiring special support, with 27 county councils overspending by a total of £123m in 2018-19 at a time when local authority purses are under severe pressure. MPs on the education select committee have published a report on school funding in England that calls for £1.2bn to fill the deficit in provision for special educational needs and disabilities (Send). The county councils said the number of young people on education, health and care plans (EHCPs) requiring additional support in their areas had risen by 50,000 in five years following reforms introduced by the 2014 Children and Families Act. Carl Les, Conservative leader of North Yorkshire county council and the network’s spokesman on children’s services, said the 2014 reforms – which raised the age limit for statutory support to 25 – had been “well intentioned” but were causing severe difficulties.

Spotlight

VR has been rated by the L&D Global Sentiment Survey as the fourth-hottest workplace trend for 2017. But the inevitable question now arising is: ‘Is virtual reality for learning just hype?’. VR offers big opportunities for learning, but currently there are few evaluative studies on the usefulness of VR as a learning tool1 . This exploratory pilot study aims to uncover the relative effectiveness of VR for workplace learning by comparing it against two other popular digital learning media types: an online PDF, and a gamified elearning interaction.

Spotlight

VR has been rated by the L&D Global Sentiment Survey as the fourth-hottest workplace trend for 2017. But the inevitable question now arising is: ‘Is virtual reality for learning just hype?’. VR offers big opportunities for learning, but currently there are few evaluative studies on the usefulness of VR as a learning tool1 . This exploratory pilot study aims to uncover the relative effectiveness of VR for workplace learning by comparing it against two other popular digital learning media types: an online PDF, and a gamified elearning interaction.

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