See Me. Feel Me. Touch Me. Heal Me.

Crisis. Rock Bottom. UK Faces Unprecendented Demand for Special Education Services.

Abadnonned school“We are at crisis point….”

“We are at rock bottom…”

By Anne Dachel

Here’s a recap of stories posted over the past week or so on my site, Loss of Brain Trust.

Again my main focus is on what’s happening in Britain . Two stories in the UK Times and one in the Irish Times both assured the public that the 787 percent increase in autism over the past 20 years is nothing more than “increasing recognition” and they attributed it all on more adults and females being diagnosed with autism. That is so absurd I’m  not going to bother to explain how baseless it is.

The Times went so far as to cite a scientist from the University College London  who said that the current diagnosis of autism is ‘meaningless’ and that it needs “urgent changes.” Their headline asked if autism “is overdiagnosed.”

(Didn’t we do that in 2013 when Aspergers was removed from the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders?)

None of this is relevant. No matter how unbelievable the stats are, no matter how many students have a label of autism, we’ll happily adjust.

Autism cannot be a problem, and it can only be discussed as a curiosity we have all the time in the world figure out.

Seemingly unbeknown to the folks at the Irish Times and UK Times, schools are, as the BBC tells us, hitting ‘rock bottom’ because of the draining cost of special education and that involves autism.

Increase demand

Across England there are stories about new or expanding special/autism  schools. Almost without exception we’re told that there is an increased demand for places for special education.

It’s a nice cover. “Increased demand” doesn’t have the same impact that  “more disabled students” would have. Increased damage could mean we just didn’t realize these students needed extra help.

I like to envision how the stories I’m seeing would sound if reporters actually said that there are more dysfunctional kids out there. Then the “better diagnosing” claim wouldn’t fly so easily.

Notice how educators and elected officials pepper these stories with positive sounding words like “delighted” and “excited” at the same time demand is ever-growing.

Here’s how the spin works

Kirklees:  Officials propose a new special school for 132 students.

We are putting forward exciting new proposals for special school provision in the district.

There is a growing demand for special school places in Kirklees and we must ensure this demand can be met in the future….

Following a detailed study, the Deighton site was identified as a strong location for a new school as it is central, well suited to a special school and has scope to meet the demand for places.

Derby: A new school for autistic kids has been proposed  to the Derby City Council.

Plans to convert a former nursing home into a school for children with autism in a city suburb have been submitted to Derby City Council.

Autism East Midlands (AEM) wants to convert the Manor House home in Manor Road, Littleover into a day school for up to 20 pupils and around 20 staff. …

…this supports a "clear community need" for an increase in the provision of specialist schooling for autistic children from in and around Derby and adds "this growing need is the main driver of this proposal"….

Thatcham: A nursery school is being changed into a special needs school.

The SEN school will now accommodate 60 pupils and 25 members of staff.

St. Helens Borough: New $10M special school is underway.

Anne Kyle, head teacher at Penkford School, added: “The Special Educational Needs children of St Helens deserve the best facilities to learn in, as they already have so many barriers to learning to overcome.

North Yorkshire County: Here yet another county looks into a new special school to save the enormous cost of out-of-area placement for disabled students.  What choice do they have?

A COUNCIL facing spiralling costs to educate children with special educational needs and disabilities is considering sweeping changes to enable more pupils to be educated in their local area and save up to £650,000 [$884K] a year. …

 It also follows the council highlighting how a shortage in funding for special educational needs and disabled pupils had, until the current financial year, seen funding being top sliced from the budgets of mainstream schools to cover costs….

Officers said analysis had revealed how independent and out of county residential placements cost £4.7 million [$6.3M] annually,…

The average cost per pupil for each out of county or independent provider placement is £186,958 [$254K].

Dorset: Residents were asked for comments on a proposal for 80 additional special needs places at a local school. 

There were enthusiastic responses.

This seems to be an excellent proposal and should be encouraged. …

I think this is an excellent idea. …

I heartily support the proposal to extend the work and the capacity of this much needed school. …

I think this is an admirable use of the old Wimborne First School, especially when these places are so badly needed. …

Hertfordshire: One local area in the county is running out of SPED funds.

Education chiefs in Hertfordshire are urgently looking at a locally-administered stream of special needs funding – after one area of the county ran out of funds in less than three months.

‘Delivering Special Provision Locally’ (DSPL) funding – amounting to around £1.5m [$2M U.S.] a year – is shared between nine areas of the county.

And now director of children’s services Jo Fisher is said to be leading ‘an urgent piece of work’ to look at what has happened – and whether there are similar issues with DSPL funding in other areas of the county….

Cllr Taylor acknowledged that this was a very specific stream of special educational needs funding.

But she said this was causing ‘great distress’ to the parents that are supported by it.

She said headteachers and nursery providers had been told in writing that the ‘money had run out’ – and that basically there was no more.

And she said those affected were finding it very difficult to see how they were going to get through the year without the additional provision….

Barnsley: This city in central England  has big problems with special ed and they expect this will continue.

A growing number of pupils with special educational needs and disabilities (SEND), as well as out-of-borough placements, means that the council has an accumulated £11.7 million [$16M] deficit in its SEND budget this year – which is set to rise to £36.8m [$50M] by 2025.

There are currently 2,220 pupils in Barnsley with an education, health and care plan (EHCP) in place, which is forecast to rise to 2,457 by 2024/25.

The total spend for the councils’ high needs budget for 2021/22 is currently forecast at £31.2 million, and is estimated to increase to £35.9 million by 2024/25.

A report to be seen by Barnsley Council’s cabinet next week states that an increasing number of pupils requiring specialist support “continue to exert pressures on the high needs budget”.

The report states that a “significant cost driver” is the number of youngsters with school places outside of the borough – it was revealed in April that 220 children and young people from Barnsley have an out of borough school place, at a total cost of £11,233,061 [$15M].

“Like other local authorities, we are seeing an ongoing rise in demand for support for children and young people with SEND and those with Education and Health Care Plans.

Leeds: A secondary school is facing millions in overspend thanks to the cost of special ed.

…if no action is taken, the dedicated schools grant would overspend at a rate of between £6.8m and £8.1m [$9.3M and $11M] every year until 2027.

It added that most of the overspend came from the high needs block of school places, and that its funding deficit by the end of the 2021/22 municipal year is likely to be just under £5.5m.

This includes an overspend of £1.839m [$2.5M] in the current year, as well as a deficit of more than £3m [$4M] brought forward from 2020/21. This will be offset slightly by use of cash reserves….

“The majority of the overspend is on the high needs block and the council is currently reviewing the options available for managing this as required by the Department for Education.”

Bristol: The mayor has appointed a councillor to look into “Bristol’s growing crisis in Special Education Needs.”

Wiltshire: The local council has approved expanding a special school  to provide for 359 special  needs students.

We’re told it could cost up to $52M. The vote was unanimous.

 The headteacher said the curriculum will be ‘creative, exciting and diverse.’

Luton: There’s a new special needs secondary school for 120 students. 

It’s because of “the increased demand for secondary for children and young people with SEND.”

Kevin Latham, Chief Executive Office, Windmill Hill School, added: “We are both excited and privileged…

Cllr Aslam Khan, Portfolio Holder with responsibility for Education, said: “We are delighted to see the opening of Windmill Hill School, which will help to address the growing demand for secondary special school places in the town. ….

The town's three other special schools were full, so Windmill Hill School provides much-needed extra capacity in Luton.

London: More than a quarter of London schools are running out of funds. We’re told the government needs to do more, yet they’ve paid out billions in increased funds.

London schools are being hit by a funding crisis with more than a quarter of headteachers having to make cuts to balance their budgets, they have warned.

A poll of London schools found 28 per cent have made cuts this year and 35 per cent expect they will be forced to do the same next year. The National Association of Head Teachers (NAHT), which carried out the research, said the crisis is a result of 10 years of underfunding.

Funding for children with special educational needs has been particularly badly impacted by under-investment, schools said….

“We are at crisis point….”

Mr Whiteman added: “The Government needs to increase funding so that schools are able to properly meet the needs of all their pupils.”

The Department for Education said: “This Government is providing the biggest uplift to school funding in a decade — £14 billion [$19B] in total over the three years. This is a £7.1 billion [$9.7B] increase in funding for schools compared to 2019-20.”

Saddleworth: A new autism school officially opens in the town of 30,000.

Bedfordshire:  The council has run out of special education funds, or s they put it, they put it, “its special education needs and disabilities (SEND) provision had hit ‘rock bottom.’” …

In September, 52 children with special needs did not get a school place.

"We are at rock bottom, we have to keep going, we are doing the work we need to do and we will get there but it is going to take a little bit of time."…


Pembrokeshire: Recommendations to the local council include millions more for a school  for kids with “complex needs.”

It will also recommend investment of £18.2m [$25M] at the Neyland site of the Pembrokeshire Learning Centre, which provides education for pupils aged between 11 and 16 with complex needs…

On a brighter note, sensory rooms in schools are the rage in the U.K., just like in the U.S.  This is normal and acceptable too.


It is hoped that the room can be used to calm children who may be battling with their mental health in school, providing relief for those who use it.

 Acting Headteacher Jackie Rushton and Acting Assistant Headteacher Liam Reid have been 'delighted' with the results of the room.

They said: "We are delighted to open our new sensory room for our pupils who we know will enjoy the use of the new facility.

"The new sensory room is a much needed and welcomed addition to our school. I imagine all teachers will agree that the mental health of children in school is a day-to-day battle,…

This is the new norm in the U.K. press. The story from Barnsley had a chilling sentence that no one explained :

“Like other local authorities, we are seeing an ongoing rise in demand for support for children and young people with SEND and those with Education and Health Care Plans.


Since I’ve been reporting on this ‘ongoing’ crisis since January, 2017, I’ve seen this same casual references to a ‘rise in demand’ everywhere in stories in England. There is never anything more about it. No one can tell us why so many kids have special needs, so they don’t bother.

“Growing need” and “increased demand for places” sound a lot better than saying that there are “more disabled children.” Someone would have to explain that.

I can promise you another update next week similar to what’s here and what’s been in the news for years in Britain. Reporters are old hands at it. It’s the same situation everywhere. Autism is a big part of it, but that doesn’t matter. We’re used to it.


Angus Files

Doubling down the Pharma cull..

“We are at crisis point….”

“We are at rock bottom…”

By Anne Dachel

"We learned in the pandemic that we could do things faster, we could do things better, we want to be applying those lessons, but we still need to get the funding in place to do that

Professor Dame Sarah Gilbert"

Pharma For Prison


Jonathan Rose

As Sharyl Attkisson reports, the Amish also seem to have survived Covid without vaccines or lockdowns:

But they weren't all so fortunate. When we recently visited Amish communities with RFK Jr., we met some who had vaccinated their children and seen them descend into autism.

susan welch

An excellent article, Anne, which illustrates the dire situation we are in in the UK. I share your sense of frustration and wonder which statistics will it take for the situation to be addressed. When we get to 1 in 10 children with autism, will they admit the problem - or will they wait until it really does reach 1 in every 2? I suspect those in power who understand how serious the problem is are just 'kicking the can down the road' because the implications of admitting the cause is not one that anyone will address.

The huge number of adverse reactions to the Covid shots are shining the light of the fact that vaccines are not always 'safe and effective' so hopefully the whole house of cards will come crashing down sooner rather than later.

Your amazing hard work compiling all this information is very much appreciated. Thank you so much.

Benedetta. I have the same 'gut' feeling as you. I feel that our truth is making the PTB very worried.

Angus Files

Locally I remember a few years back a news article about our secondary school having 33% of all the pupils having a classroom assistant meaning they had supported needs, meaning they had a learning problem,. I cant see this having got any better lately just a lot worse. How low can pharma go with numbers a lot lower if they match their morals were not even half way there yet. Of course nothing to do with vaccination just better diagnosis, of course ,of course, of course!

Great work Anne much appreciated

Pharma For Prison



I don't actually know what a sensory room is because they didn't exist in schools in the 50s and 60s. Nor was "the mental health of children in school a day-to-day battle." I was bored and didn't like most of my teachers, but I don't think that's what we're talking about here.


Americans need to start living like the Amish.
Home school.
No jabs.
Home grown food.
Limited technology/alternate media and means of communication.

Biden/Garland are sicking the FBI on complaining public school parents....

"Merrick Garland Has Conflict of Interest
Daughter is married to Big Tech cofounder data mining kids"
I am sure this could be extended to those complaining about special ed needs.

Bob Moffit

"Since I’ve been reporting on this ‘ongoing’ crisis since January, 2017, I’ve seen this same casual references to a ‘rise in demand’ everywhere in stories in England. There is never anything more about it. No one can tell us why so many kids have special needs, so they don’t bother."

Anne .. it is much easier to focus on the "ongoing crisis" as long as it remains focused on a "rise in demand".. (which conveniently allows public health and education officials to spend more money on special ed) .. while as you question "why so many kids have special needs". In US focus not so much on "demand" .. instead on 'AWARENESS".

Been going on for decade after decade … DELAY, DENY, HOPE THEY DIE …

Read a report that Amish communities in US remain UNVACCINATED … yet …. have far less covid in their communities. Amazing how the same Amish communities avoidance of vaccines .. first noted by our beloved Dan Olmsted .. remain an outlier from public health predictions on public health. Wonder why SPEC ED "crisis" hasn't risen in Amish counties???

Verify your Comment

Previewing your Comment

This is only a preview. Your comment has not yet been posted.

Your comment could not be posted. Error type:
Your comment has been saved. Comments are moderated and will not appear until approved by the author. Post another comment

The letters and numbers you entered did not match the image. Please try again.

As a final step before posting your comment, enter the letters and numbers you see in the image below. This prevents automated programs from posting comments.

Having trouble reading this image? View an alternate.


Post a comment

Comments are moderated, and will not appear until the author has approved them.

Your Information

(Name and email address are required. Email address will not be displayed with the comment.)