New Year, Same Problem with Overwhelming Special Education Needs
As we start a new year, I have to think back over the past six years and wonder where all this is going.
I started compiling the stories on Loss Of Brain Trust in January, 2017, and since then I have amassed well over 7,000 reports covering the decline of children’s developmental health everywhere.
Nowhere is this more evident than in our schools, especially schools in the U.K. and in Ireland. The majority of the stories on kids who can’t learn and function normally come from these countries. The same issues are now showing up in the American press, and I’m sure this kind of coverage will increase here too.
We are constantly told two things: there are MORE disabled students in school who need costly services and the disabilities they have are MORE complex, MORE severe. That is something that needs further explanation. Why are more and more kids unable to function and learn normally?
This should be the logical follow-up to any of these stories, but incredibly it’s not talked about.
Just how long countries can keep increasing funding and providing more services is the big unknown, but clearly this will lead to the collapse of education as we know it.
Over the past month I’ve been labeling certain stories with the image of CRISIS because of the stunning statistics involved.
These are the statistics we have to learn to live with.
England: ‘The special educational needs system is broken – the government knows this and so do thousands of families who are at crisis point across the country. …
‘There are over 125,000 more pupils receiving help for autism in schools now than in 2010. As more pupils come through the SEND system, we must make sure there is the resource and funding to support them.’
Ireland: Around 25% of the student population in Ireland is estimated to have special educational needs, leading the OCO to predict that the situation would “continue to worsen” unless steps are immediately taken to increase capacity….
Eastbourne, England: The school will create 135 much-needed local school places for children aged 5-16 with autism spectrum disorder (ASD), complex learning needs and medical difficulties. …
- Cheshire, England: A special school in South Cheshire can go ahead with expansion plans to accommodate an extra 60 pupils after Cheshire East gave permission for an extension to be built, writes Belinda Ryan.
Springfield School caters for children and young people, between the ages of four and 19, who have autism, severe learning difficulties and complex needs.
Headteacher Lisa Hodgkison told the meeting the extension was needed as the school should have 176 children but currently has 213 on roll.
Bunbury Cllr Sarah Pochin asked whether the expansion would bring the school to the point where they could cater for those in need now or whether it would help provide future provision too.
Mrs Hodgkison said there was an increasing need for more specialist provision and the school was working with the council to deal with this.
“We’re due to open a satellite school in Wilmslow as well,” she said.
Lincolnshire, England: The new school will be able to cater to all needs and will offer spaces to both primary and secondary-aged pupils. It will provide 17 classrooms, including three specifically designed for pupils with profound and multiple learning difficulties. …
Cllr Mrs Patricia Bradwell OBE, executive member for children’s services, said: “One of the council's top priorities is ensuring all local children get a great start in life, and a good education is vital to that. That's why the authority is investing around £100m ($122M) in improving and expanding special schools across Lincolnshire.
England: The government has extended its scheme to train 200 educational psychologists per year after committing £21 million [$25M] in funding to boost numbers. …
Government research in 2019 found more than 90 per cent of local authority principal educational psychologists experienced more demand for their services than they are currently able to meet. Two thirds of councils reported as struggling to fill vacant positions.
Liverpool, England: The support system for children with special educational needs (SEN) in mainstream schools is "not fit for purpose", a head teacher said. …
Schools receive an initial £6,000 [$7,300] for each child on the SEN register, a figure Mr Barnes said was often "diluted", because it was based on a "notional" number of SEN pupils expected to attend the school, rather than the actual number. …
There has been a big increase in the number of autistic schoolchildren in Liverpool in recent years.
Figures taken from the annual school census show that in January 2018, there were 1,165 SEN pupils with autism recorded as their primary need.
By January 2022, that number had risen to 2,109.
Councillor Tomas Logan, cabinet member for education at Liverpool City Council, said the national SEN system was "broken".
Bury, England: The council is expected to approve a plan to provide an extra 50 places at a Radcliffe special school.
Plans to extend Millwood School will provide places more young people with special educational needs.
Millwood is a primary special school for pupils aged 2-11 with very complex medical needs, severe learning difficulties and delays, autism, challenging behaviour, epilepsy, communication difficulties and sensory and multi-sensory impairments…
Due to increased demand for specialist provision, additional capacity was created in 2019 through a small extension, and now has 161 pupils on roll.
However, continuing demand pressures means that further additional specialist capacity must be provided.
- Sussex County, England: A council has revealed draft plans to axe hundreds of unfilled primary school places, including the possible merger of three schools. …
West Sussex County Council is considering a raft of reforms to “improve” education in Worthing and Durrington and remove 953 currently unfilled primary school places across the borough.
It also wants to increase primary places for children with special educational needs and disabilities.
Across Worthing and Durrington, there are around 1,500 surplus primary places, meaning around 17 per cent of all available primary places are not currently being used-the equivalent to five average-sized primary schools being left empty in the Worthing borough, the council said. …
The council now wants to hear the views of residents on the following proposals:
Creating a new 21-place primary special support centre for children with social communication needs, on the Chesswood Road site. This would incorporate the nine places currently at Lyndhurst.
Creating a new eight-place special support centre for children with special educational needs and disabilities, on either the Downsbrook Primary Academy site or the Whytemead Primary School site.
Ireland: The majority of primary school principals lack confidence in the National Council for Special Education (NCSE), a new survey has found….
Of the 921 principals surveyed: one in three were without a special educational needs officer; 55% said the resources provided by the NCSE do not meet the needs of their pupils; and of the schools that appealed their special education teacher placement in the past two years, 93% were unsuccessful.
Northern Ireland: ... Speaking at a recent conference organised to discuss the next steps for special educational needs (SEN) provision in Northern Ireland, Mr Gault said that "without an unprecedented influx of hundreds of millions of pounds …there is no future".
He told the Policy Forum for Northern Ireland online event that support and provision for children with SEN as well as funding were among the vital issues facing schools as a result of the political stalemate.
"Without an unprecedented influx of hundreds of millions of pounds, our provision for our most vulnerable children will continue to follow the same trajectory of decline that has marked our provision for the last decade," he said….
"In our mainstream schools, special educational needs provision is wholly underfunded, with almost non-existent training and non-existent capacity building.
"Children with complex needs are allocated places in mainstream settings with inadequate support and inadequate staffing, leaving children floundering and, sadly and destructively, parents and schools in conflict because both are grappling around trying to fight the system for support."
England: Of the extra funding, £400 million [$488M] will go to councils’ high needs budgets, to support children with special educational needs or disabilities.
Schools Week has revealed how many councils kept previous funding boosts. The DfE did not respond to questions over their claims that special schools will be guaranteed to get the cash.
Farcet, England: Plans have been put forward to build a new school in Farcet for children with special educational needs. The Conquest Drove SEN School is proposed to be built on land along Conquest Drove to the south-east of the village. The school is planned to have space for up to 25 pupils with learning disabilities, between the ages of seven and 18, and is expected to employ 14 members of staff….
Hertfordshire, England: “The number of children being identified who may require SEND support continues to increase, raising challenges both nationally and here in Hertfordshire.
“In common with many local authorities, we are experiencing an unprecedented increase in requests for specialist provision, with a 47 per cent increase in pupils with Education and Health and Care Plans since 2019…
Portsmouth, England: THE long-planned closure of a primary school's inclusion centre for children with special educational needs and disabilities (Send) is set to be given the final go-ahead next week.
Portsmouth City Council's cabinet member for education Suzy Horton will be asked to sign off the closure of the nine-pupil unit at Portsdown Primary School ahead of its replacement by the 24-place Arundel Court Primary Academy centre from September.
- Yorkshire: The school is due to be built on North Yorkshire County Council owned land in Osgodby, near Selby, and last year councillors said it would bring “significant benefits for children and young people with education, health and care plans.”
Some 100 pupils aged 3 to 19 could benefit from the school, which will be run by Wellspring Academy Trust. …
There are currently over 3,500 children in North Yorkshire with Education, Health and Care plans.
Scotland: SNP ministers have been urged to invest in Scottish education amid a record high number of pupils being identified with additional support needs (ASN).
Figures released on Tuesday showed the number of pupils with ASN, such as autism, dyslexia and mental health problems in 2022 reached a record high of 241,639.
The number represents around 34.2 per cent of the pupil population, rising from 118,011 in 2012.
Ireland: This kind of service is needed more now than it ever has been, as figures published this year by the Department of Health reveal that 14,000 children between the ages of four and 15 have an autism diagnosis - around 4.7 per cent of the school population.
This is four times higher than the figure of just 1.2 per cent 10 years ago….
If you are seeking an assessment, there are a number of different routes you can take to get results for your child. There is no cost going through a public referral system - but you could be waiting up to four years for an assessment.
Surrey, England: A senior Surrey councillor admits it is "not good enough" that nearly 1,000 children with special educational needs in Surrey are waiting for an education plan. Nearly a third of those have been waiting more than the statutory 20-week limit for a Education Health and Care Plan (EHCP), with a shortage in educational psychologists among the reasons the council put forward for the backlog.
Peterborough, England: Plans for a new Special Educational Needs (SEN) school to be built near Peterborough, have been revealed.
The new school, which will provide places for 25 youngsters, aged 7-18 with learning difficulties, would be built on Conquest Grove, Farcet, if it is given the go ahead. …
"The school will adopt an autism-friendly approach with a sense of importance attached to communication in its varied forms. Each student will learn at their own pace which will allow for personalised targets to be set, both academic and socially.”
The school is planning on having a staff to pupil ratio of 1:1 or high ratio staffing, depending on the needs of each individual pupil…
Wigan, England: Schools just ‘don’t have the staff to manage’ children with special educational needs and disabilities due to a lack of resources in Wigan.. The borough’s SEND programme is currently in deficit as well as being in higher demand, the Children and Young People Scrutiny Committee was told.
“The financial position in schools is terrible,” Coun Debra Wailes told Wigan Town Hall. “When children are arriving with quite severe needs they just do not have the staff to manage.
“Some are coming in with quite complex needs and the work hasn’t started in nursery.” …
Lincolnshire, England: Following the official opening of the new £13.2m [$16M] Boston Endeavour Academy and a £6.5m [$7.9M] extension to Willoughby Academy in Bourne, other Lincolnshire special schools are benefitting from improvements…. That's why the authority is investing around £86m [$105M] in improving and expanding 13 special school sites across Lincolnshire over the next few years….
Progress is also being made on an extension to St Christopher’s School in Lincoln. In order to increase the school’s capacity, the council is constructing a new 130-place school on the site of the former Priory Witham Academy Junior School….
"So, the council is investing £86m to improve the support for children with SEND, which will see an additional 500 special school places created over the next five years….
Wolverhampton, England: Two new buildings for academy to meet demand for pupil places
Plans to build two temporary classrooms at a special education needs (SEND) school in Wolverhampton to meet a rise in demand for pupil places have been given the go-ahead. Broadmeadow Special School in Lansdowne Road, West Park, has increased pupil places from 54 to 75.
The school caters for SEND children aged 3-11, including those with Autistic Spectrum Disorder (ASD), severe learning difficulties and physical disabilities. The proposal is a temporary solution whilst an alternative location is sought to build a new school once capacity goes beyond 75 pupils, in line with demand. The estimated cost of the work is £800,000 [$964K]. …
"For context, Broadmeadow is an academy special school in the city that in 2019 was rated 'good' by Ofsted. It originally provided 54 places to students in the city but that has recently increased to 75 to meet the demand that we have. In order to do this, there is a need for additional accommodation within the school grounds for teaching and learning spaces and the various other spaces associated with special education needs. …
Nottinghamshire, England: A Nottinghamshire councillor was moved to tears during a meeting while sharing her son’s experience of accessing support for Special Educational Needs.
A manager also admitted figures showing increased demand were only the “tip of the iceberg”.
The comments were made during the latest Nottinghamshire Council children and families select committee meeting.
Nottinghamshire has 11 special schools and academies, but a much lower number of places than the England average.
However, figures show the number of Education, Health and Care plans required for access to special educational provisions has risen from 1,646 in 2015 to 3,360 in 2022 – and is predicted to rise to 4,496 by 2025.
Council reports say this is because there are now more children classed as having special educational needs and disability.
“We are seeing an increase in terms of assessment requests and schools are seeing an increase of children with complex and challenging needs.”
The council’s response includes creating an extra 219 places in special schools until 2024 and planning to build a new special school with up to 160 places using Government funding. It is also planning for more places to be focused on the Mansfield, Ashfield and Gedling, where demand is highest.
Isle of Wight, England: Bob told the Minister that the number of children with Education Health and Care Plans on the Island had increased since the introduction of the Children and Families Act in 2014, and it was becoming increasingly challenging to serve the Island’s children with the current provision in place.
There are currently 2 maintained special schools on the Island – St George’s and Medina House – and both are full.
Speaking about his meeting, Bob has said:
“I made it very clear to the Minister that the Isle of Wight is short of SEND places and that we need a new SEND school here as a matter of urgency.
Wellingborough, England: A £1.6m [$1.9M] project to build two new permanent classrooms at a Wellingborough special school has been given the go-ahead by North Northants Council’s (NNC) executive committee….
Cllr Edwards told a meeting on Thursday that there is a shortage of places for children with special needs. Built for 90 pupils in 1998, currently Rowan Gate’s Wellingborough campus has 140 pupils attending – the plan will ensure there is permanent capacity for all 140 pupils once the work is complete…
Isebrook SEND College in Kettering will see an expansion of the school funded by an additional £341,000 [$413K] from the SEND capital grant. NNC has already approved £532,000 [$644K] to provide 10 new secondary SEND places in the 2022/23 academic year, rising to a total of 20.
Leeds, England: Henry Boot Construction celebrates completing work on a new SEN learning centre in Leeds, creating facilities and places for 120 more pupils
Henry Boot Construction has completed work on a new £9m [$11M] Special Education Needs or SEN learning centre in Leeds on Buckingham Road in Headingley. …
“Headingley Learning Centre is an exceptional facility. I would like to thank all the teams involved in supporting us with the challenging project. Due to this further expansion, West Oaks in now one of the largest SEN schools in Europe, with 500 pupils and 240 staff across our three sites.”
Dagenham, England: A Dagenham specialist SEN school is hoping to convert a former school caretaker's house into a new SEN support centre. Plans were submitted earlier this month for Trinity School, based on the Heathway, Dagenham, to be able to construct a family support centre to help families and prospects join and integrate into the school.
According to GOV.UK, the community special school serves 297 children and young people aged 3-19 with highly complex special educational needs, disabilities and medical needs.
And all of these stories are just from the month of December.
Consider what these stories here calmly reveal with no alarm or any kind of urgency.
One from Scotland announced that 34.2% of students in Scottish schools need additional support.
One said that around 25% of Irish students have special needs, and another told us that one in every 21 students in Irish schools has an autism diagnosis.
And I didn’t mention any of the other articles on Loss of Brain Trust. There are a number from the U.S. and places like Dubai, Canada, New Zealand and Japan. Disabled children are taking a toll all over.
Where is all this going? That should be the big question.
What if there are even more kids with complex needs next year? Will anyone care when 40% of Scottish students have special needs? What will happen in Ireland when one in 10 students is autistic?
If the government can’t afford the current numbers, how will they pay for increases?
Interestingly I did find one story that sort of did deal with this. Again it’s an attempt to explain the increases away.
On December 29, 2022, the Ipswich Star published the story, Investigation: The full story behind Suffolk's SEND crisis.
In the article a Suffolk council member, Allan Cadzow, blamed legislation from back in 2014. That was when the age limit for special education services went from 21 years to 25 years.
In an exclusive interview with the East Anglian Daily Times, Suffolk County Council's corporate director of children and young people, Allan Cadzow, explains why SEND provision across Suffolk has had difficulties and what the future holds for the county.
In 2014, the Children and Families Act made it the duty of local authorities to provide for those with special needs.
"This created a huge surge in demand," said Mr. Cadzow.
Since then, the Council says it has seen a 200% increase in applications for Education, Health and Care plans (EHCP), a legal document that describes a child's special educational needs and the support they need.
"We went from about 3,000 to now over 7,000," added Mr Cadzow.
The age limit expansion was probably because there simply aren’t adult services for all these young people aging out of school. Simple solution: keep them in school an extra four years.
Actually Cadzow’s claims really don’t make sense. That act was over eight years ago. By now things should have leveled out.
Why are there always more dysfunctional kids?
Education authorities predict even more kids like this in the future as shown in the story above from Nottinghamshire.
Of course more complex needs means that these kids require more costly services, one-on-one aides and even special school placement. (That same story tells us that special education numbers are increasing because more students have special needs!)
Yes, the truth is, a greater percentage of students are disabled. Stories keep telling us that the biggest numbers are among the youngest students and they have increasingly more complex needs.
Autism is always a factor. Intellectual disabilities don’t get the mention that autism/social/emotional/mental health needs do. All these realities should have everyone’s attention, but they don’t. All the smiling adults cutting ribbons on the opening of the latest special school are ignoring the disaster happening right in front of them.
Never face the truth
There can’t really be a difference in kids today. Even the thought is too scary to consider. We have to excuse all this somehow. We have to pretend this is normal. We have to become more “autism friendly” (like the stories above from Ireland tells us). We need to be more inclusive and have “sensitive Santas” and sensory rooms in our schools along with autism story times at public libraries.
Somehow everything will be fine. The problems will simply go away when we’ve done enough and paid enough. We’re not there yet.
Anne Dachel is Media Editor for Age of Autism.
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Pediatric obesity epidemic looms in what was once the healthiest country in the world. Video-viewing/lack of exercise blamed (modern Japanese load up on too many carbohydrates and too little protein... over-exercising failed to resolve my severe obesity I suffered as a child, no matter how much I exercised and rode bikes until my knees ached, so I went on permanent high-protein lower carb diet and am now only mildly overweight). Excess sugars and carbs are the biggest cause of obesity today, yet the grain-loaded food pyramid and "exercising off a bad diet" is salt in the wounds, especially for these poor children. https://mainichi.jp/english/articles/20230106/p2a/00m/0li/029000c (Obesity rates rising as kids in Japan spend more time watching videos: sports agency)
Same nation whose children (especially boys) are developing serious bladder/bowel problems and constipation, supposedly only from "squat toilets" in prisonlike public schools.
Posted by: TrumpeterOfYahweh | January 07, 2023 at 09:46 PM
Dr Wakefield from CHD (Odysee) warns about aluminum being deliberately put into babies brains to intentionally cause ASDs and schizophrenia in children. Very evil things being intentionally loaded up into these poor childrens brains, and he knows it's not just "the new thing" but all of the aluminum brain-destroying shots. https://odysee.com/@AndreySpiridonov:8/PPPPPPPPPPPPPPPPPP:a (Dr. Wakefield predicts that there will be an explosion of autism and schizophrenia in children.)
Posted by: TrumpeterOfYahweh | January 06, 2023 at 11:22 PM
Robert Kennedy Jr. Said that to make lab rats allergic to food, that they inject them with aluminum and a protein of food.
Then he went on to say that proteins that are in the air at that time some one receives the aluminum filled vaccine; allergies to those things do develop. Like to timothy grass, which would lead me to think about my favorite: pollen to sycamore tree.
40 years ago, it was brought to my attention that if you are allergic to something, was that a time around your birth month. I did that little game to a lot of friends over the years. If they are having some problems with an allergy, I guess their birth month. Many are kind of surprised at my guess. My game, but I had no idea until now why.
This is a great talk.
Thank you so much Susan for linking it and bringing it to my attention.
Posted by: Benedetta | January 06, 2023 at 11:20 AM
Thank you Susan Welch.
So what did they decide about the MMR vaccine? Is Robert Kennedy Jr. saying that the MMR just like the mercury laden vaccines also cause autism?
I see that the mRNA covid is causing inflammation - too?
So what is it in the vaccines?
Mercury and aluminum?
Or just the fact that they cause inflammation?
Posted by: Benedetta | January 06, 2023 at 10:42 AM
Must watch interview with Steve Kirsch and Robert Kennedy Jr. So much info
Posted by: susan welch | January 06, 2023 at 06:55 AM
Emmaphiladelphia, those are also known as "15-minute cities" I believe? Don't be surprised if they're advertised as "autism accessible" and "neurodiversity friendly cities" or NFC's for short. The WEF/UN/CFR and many others seem to be creating these in China, and later in the USA as autism group homes and housing increasingly becomes a pipe dream. "Climate change" is their excuse. Even Japan's children are getting sicker, and soon there'll be NFC's in Japan and all East Asian countries with high ASD rates if this does not end.
"Neurodiversity Friendly Cities" - 15-minute geo-engineering prisons exposed: https://rumble.com/v23t7tw-climate-lockdown-15-minute-cities-a-wef-prison-planet.html
Posted by: TrumpeterOfYahweh | January 04, 2023 at 09:42 AM
Coming to a town near you:
15 mile radius "environmental' lockdowns.
This Mother has a WARNING for Everyone! Please Listen and Share
Posted by: Emmaphiladelphia | January 03, 2023 at 11:50 PM
My piece is called Blind Faith.
American, British , & Irish Mothers don’t question what gets injected into their children because….it is nothing but safe, it is nothing but effective, it is nothing but necessary.
The pregnancy vaccines, & the birth doses of Vit K & Hep B could indicate nothing less.
The brainwashing is complete.
Nothing but safe
Nothing but efficactive
Part of the ship
Part of the crew
Posted by: annie | January 03, 2023 at 09:44 PM
Sounds like the Cloward–Piven strategy....
Posted by: Emmaphiladelphia | January 03, 2023 at 08:47 PM
Thank you again, Anne, for this valuable information.
If I remember rightly, Stephanie Seneff predicted 1:2 boys will be diagnosed with autism by 2032. If no govenment addresses this situation, it looks as if her prediction will prove correct.
Can they really kee brushing the increase under the carpet forever? Will no mainstream journalist investigate this horrendous increase?
Posted by: susan welch | January 03, 2023 at 11:11 AM
"If "ifs" and "buts" were candy and nuts, wouldn't it be a Merry Christmas?" but zero to do with vaccines right?
Black pupils are more likely to be identified as having special educational needs, a study has found.
"Racism from teachers, a lack of understanding of cultural differences and ineffective classroom management are among possible factors cited in the report behind the over-representation."
Pharma For Prison
Posted by: Angus Files | January 03, 2023 at 06:59 AM