By Anne Dachel
The stories about schools in the U.K. on Loss of Brain Trust are all about an education system that’s collapsing. Just looking at headlines it’s clear parents have to protest because of the lack of services for special needs kids.
* the U.K. special education deficit is forecast to reach $2.7B by 2025.
* children are left out of school due to a lack of special school places.
* more special schools are announced every single day across the U.K.
* children wait YEARS just for an assessment to get services.
Here’s what we’ve recently been told:
There isn’t a consolidated and published picture of high-needs deficits, but we know from recent surveys that the national picture is forecast to be around a £2.4 billion [$2.7B] deficit by March 2025. To put this into local context, one local authority member was supporting 3,290 EHCPs in January 2018. It’s 5,323 today, with a further 923 in process. This phenomenal rise is not only creating a pressure on high-needs budgets but on schools, where it really matters. Special schools are overflowing and mainstream schools are having to meet an unprecedented level of need. The recent announcement of £2.6 billion [$3B] of capital funding is welcome but it is nowhere near enough. It’s all about autism really. Here’s what Schools Week published:
Over half of the children and young people in special schools have a primary or secondary need of autism. For children in early years specialist settings, the figure is 65 per cent. 65% of the youngest kids in special ed are on the spectrum, AND stories regularly tell us that more children have SEVERE autism. Autism is driving this collapse—something no one in charge will focus on. In truth, over the last two decades we’ve been conditioned to accept that the autism rate is always going to increase. Likewise we expect to be told, each time there’s an update, that officials are not sure if this increase means more kids have autism. It just may still be the result of better diagnosing and greater awareness. There’s never a challenge to that assurance.Eventually there simply won’t be enough money to fund special education, regular education, and pay for the tidal wave of young adults aging out of the system at age 25 in the U.K. Maybe that will be the wake up call—FINALLY.
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