Councils across the UK will be able to access a £50m Government fund to help invest in specialist facilities and create more places for children with special educational needs and disabilities (SEND).

Schools will be able to use the funding to invest in specialist equipment for facilities such as playgrounds and sensory rooms, with the Department for Education (DfE) saying the money will help lead to the creation of 740 special school places for children with SEND.

The new multi-million funding boost comes in addition to £680m that the DfE has allocated to create 40,000 more good school places and builds on the £215m fund announced last year to ensure children with SEND had access to good school places.

Nadhim Zahawi, Children and Families Minister, said: “All parents want to send their child to a good local school, one that meets their individual needs and supports them to achieve their full potential, regardless of the challenges they may face.

“This funding will help to create thousands more school places across the country, with a clear focus on transforming the experience of education for children with special educational needs or disabilities (SEND).”

According to the Government, every council in England will receive at least £115,000 to improve these schools.

Gail Walshe, Head of Parent Carer Participation at Contact, commented: “We welcome any increase in funding that will help inclusion of children with additional needs in mainstream schools.

“Schools have a duty to be accessible, but we know from calls to Contact’s helpline that this is not always the case.

“Some schools lack capacity in their specialist units, or do not have a quiet room for children with sensory issues or adequate changing facilities for children with personal care needs. We hope that this top up funding together with the £215m announced last year will help make a visible difference.”

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