SEND in Crisis

The Crisis

Pupils with Special Educational Needs and Disability (SEND) are seeing a crisis in funding. According to the Department for Education’s own figures, more than 8000 children in England with special educational needs and disabilities (SEND) have no education provision at all[1][2][3]. Special needs provision in England has lost out on £1.2bn because of shortfalls in funding increases from central government since 2015.

  1. SEND crisis, National Education Union, 2019:
  2. National Education Union, We need to stem the crisis in SEND,01 March 2018 by Graham Easterlow
  3. Independent Newspaper, Thousands of children with special needs do not have school places amid crisis in education funding, union warns, Eleanor Busby Education Correspondent, 1 April 2018,

Principles underlying the Code[1]

The 0-25 SEND Code of Practice describes the principles that should be observed by all professionals working with children and young people who have SEN or disabilities. These include:

  • taking into account the views of children, young people and their families
  • enabling children, young people and their parents to participate in decision-making
  • collaborating with partners in education, health and social care to provide support
  • identifying the needs of children and young people
  • making high quality provision to meet the needs of children and young people
  • focusing on inclusive practices and removing barriers to learning
  • helping children and young people to prepare for adulthood

More information on the principles that underpin the Children and Families Act and the guidance is given in Chapter 1, Principles, in the 0-25 SEND Code of Practice. This document also details the legal requirements placed on local authorities and schools, requirements they struggle to adequately meet due to funding cuts even where some education is being offered.

Sign the Petition

School Cuts have a petition demanding adequate funding to meet SEND educational needs. The text of the demand is:

The Government has a basic duty to make sure all children can access school but instead it’s failing thousands of children who just want to learn.

In our country education for every child is a fundamental expectation. We shouldn’t accept anything less. That’s why as heads, teachers, support staff and parents we’re urging you to:

  • Properly fund SEND in all schools/colleges, ensuring no child has to wait for a place in school
  • Give funding back to local authorities so they can commission SEND support and services in line with what children in their community need

You can find the petition here. Please sign.