Inclusive education – Government action
UK Government actions
- In July 2020, the UK Government re-announced that over 3,000 extra school places were to be created in special free schools for pupils with the most complex needs in England.
- In July 2020, the UK Government announced a £650 million universal catch-up premium for the 2020-21 academic year, and a £350 million National Tutoring Programme to provide additional, targeted support for those children and young people who need the most help.
- In July 2020, the Department for Education (DfE) commissioned Ofsted and the Care Quality Commission to visit local areas to help improve their Special Educational Needs and Disability (SEND) systems in England following the coronavirus pandemic, in addition to the current SEND inspection cycle.
- In March 2020, the UK Parliament passed the Coronavirus Act (2020), which introduced a number of changes, including providing Ministers with the power to temporarily change legal obligations to provide support for children with SEND in England; and emergency powers to enable Welsh Ministers to make similar modifications in Wales.
- In April 2020, the Department for Education (DfE) published new SEND guidance for England to reflect the changes introduced in response to the pandemic.
- In September 2019, the UK Government announced a major review to improve support for children with SEND in England, which has since been delayed by the pandemic.
- In September 2019, Ofsted’s new education inspection framework came into effect, with specific SEND considerations for the inspection of schools in England.
- In 2018/19, the DfE implemented a new national funding formula for England to distribute school spending based on indicators of need including the incidence of SEND.
- Details of 2020/21 funding for England were released in October 2019 and included a 12% increase in high needs funding for children and young people with more complex needs, compared with the previous year.
- In December 2018, the UK Government announced an additional £250 million funding to provide specialist support for children with SEND and £100 million to create more tailored facilities in mainstream and special schools.
Read our assessment of the UK Government’s progress on inclusive education.
Welsh Government actions
Education policy is devolved to the Welsh Government.
- In July 2020, the Welsh Government announced that 900 extra staff were to be recruited to schools in Wales, creating additional support for disadvantaged and vulnerable learners.
- In its 2020/21 draft budget, the Welsh Government committed £8 million additional investment for children with additional learning needs (ALN) in schools or further education.
- In September 2019, the Welsh Government announced that implementation of the Additional Learning Needs and Education Tribunal (Wales) Act would be delayed until September 2021.
- Between December 2018 and March 2019, the Welsh Government held a consultation on the draft ALN code for Wales to support implementation of the associated laws, reporting on the outcome of the consultation in June 2019.
- In March 2018, the Welsh Government updated its guidance on planning to increase access to schools for disabled pupils, which supports local authorities and educational providers to ensure compliance with the Equality Act 2010.
- In January 2018, the Additional Learning Needs and Education Tribunal (Wales) Act received royal assent – the Act introduces a new statutory framework to support children and young people with ALN from ages 0 to 25, and to improve collaboration between local authorities and health boards.
- In February 2017, the Welsh Government announced a £20 million funding package to support the implementation of the ALN Act and the wider ALN Transformation programme.
Read our assessment of the Welsh Government’s progress on inclusive education.