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Lack of funds puts education for children with special needs at risk

Children with special needs are at risk of being turned away by mainstream schools because of a lack of funding, councils have warned.

The Local Government Association (LGA) says council budgets have come under increasing pressure because the high needs dedicated schools grant has been frozen for several years.

It is calling on the government to change the formula so that children with special needs receive the support they need.

The LGA says extra funding since 2015/16 has been allocated on the basis of the total number of children in an area rather than any measure of the number of children with complex needs.

Cllr Richard Watts, chair of the LGA's children and young people board, said: 'There has been a historic underfunding of high needs funding and a significant increase in the number of pupils with special educational needs or disabilities in schools.

'The Government should provide additional funding to meet this need, otherwise councils may not be able to meet their statutory duties and children with high needs or disabilities could miss out on a mainstream education.'