West Sussex given millions for children with special needs

West Sussex will be given more than £3million to create more school places for children with special educational needs and disabilities.

Department for Education
Department for Education

The money is part of a £215million funding boost announced by Edward Timpson MP, minister for vulnerable children and families.

The authority will receive £1,085,114 every year between 2018/19 and 2020/21, totalling £3,255,342.

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As well as helping to increase the number of school places available, the money will improve the facilities already in place for children with special needs.

Mr Timpson said: "This Government is determined to build a country that works for everyone - a country where every child has an equal opportunity to reach their full potential regardless of their background, and any‎ challenges they may face.

"We’ve already made the biggest changes for pupils with Special Educational Needs and Disabilities in a generation, but we want to go further and build on that success.

"Our multi-million pound investment will enable local councils to build new classrooms and improve facilities for pupils‎, ensuring that no child is left behind."

Councils will be expected to consult with parents, carers and schools on how their funding should be used.

They will then have to publish a short plan showing how they will spend the money.

Every council in the country was allotted at least £500,000. The West Sussex allocation was the eighth highest in the country.

Cllr Ian Buckland (Liberal Democrats, Littlehampton Town), who is a governor at the Cornfield School for children with social, emotional and/or behavioural difficulties, said: "It's a good start. I don't think it's enough but it's a start and I would like to know what it's going to be spent on and how they are going to spend it."

Mr Buckland said he hoped money would be spent on supporting children's emotional and mental health as well as the therapeutic side of special education.