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Funding promise to improve accessibility in schools

Funding promise to improve accessibility in schools
10th May 2021 Ian Streets

Children with special educational needs and disabilities (SEND) will benefit from a £280 million investment from the UK Government to improve accessibility in schools, according to media reports.
The Homecare Industry Information Service (THIIS) reports that the money will be allocated to councils in England and could be used to install various assistive devices, such as ceiling hoists, ramps or handrails. It could also be used to contribute to the cost of a new, purpose-built special school.
The report appeared in the THIIS trade magazine for the mobility, disability, independent living and rehabilitation industry. It says the funding highlights that the government is increasingly emphasising the importance of assistive technology in helping people be more independent.
The article says Councils will receive the funding to create new places in schools, academies, colleges and early years settings and the funding will improve existing provision to create modern, fit-for-purpose spaces suited to a wider range of pupil needs.
Minister for the School System Baroness Berridge told THIIS: “It is so important that all children and young people, whatever their background, are able to attend a good school that helps them thrive and gives them the building blocks they need to go on to fulfil their potential.
“For pupils with more complex needs or disabilities, it is especially important that the right facilities and support are in place at whatever school they attend, so they can learn in a modern, adaptable environment.
“This funding will help councils provide targeted support to level up outcomes for some of their most vulnerable pupils.”
THIIS said the investment represents a significant single-year increase in high needs capital investment and follows £365 million allocated through the Special Provision Capital Fund to create places and improve facilities for pupils with SEND across 2018 to 2021.
It adds that the money is for the financial year 2021-22 to support the provision of high needs places required by September 2022.
The report says that up to an additional £20 million will be used to support High Needs capital projects in a small number of local authorities facing the highest Dedicated Schools Grant deficits.
It also says that last year the Department for Education announced that up to 3,000 new school places were going to be created for children with SEND, providing tailored support and specialist equipment.

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