Following today’s Government announcement about reforms to services for children with special educational needs and disabilities, Linda Kemeny, Surrey County Council’s Cabinet Member for Schools and Learning, said:
“The reforms announced by the Government today will provide important support to our young people with special educational needs and we are delighted to have played a role in shaping them. But we are extremely concerned that the necessary funding needed to bring this about will not be forthcoming from the Department for Education.
“In particular, these changes are likely to mean an extra 500 Surrey children will be eligible for support on top of the existing 6,000. This alone will cost approximately £10m to £14m every year from 2018.
“When the taxpayers of Surrey contribute £6bn to the national exchequer every year and receive less than a billion back in government funding for services, it is a bit much to expect them to foot the bill locally.
“It comes at a time when we are facing a funding gap of more than £200m to provide the school places we need and are facing a similar gap for elderly and adult care.”
Surrey County Council was one of the local authorities to participate in the pathfinder programme for these changes. The new plans were trialled with 65 families during the pathfinder, which ran from October 2011 to September 2014.