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Tuesday, 11 September 2018

Government urged to ring fence funding for autistic schoolchildren

Written by Harriet Line

Ministers have been urged to ring fence funding for autistic children so schools can provide properly for them.

Labour's Lloyd Russell-Moyle said autistic children in his Brighton Kemptown constituency were "unable to access proper education".

During Education questions in the Commons, he told MPs that head teachers do not have enough funding to provide support for special educational needs (SEN).

"I have a number of autistic children in my constituency that are unable to access proper education," Mr Russell-Moyle (pictured) explained.

"I have a six-year-old who can only attend one hour a day, I have another who can only attend a classroom with 30 children and the nearest provision is 20 miles away.

"When I speak to heads they want to provide support but they don't have the funding for SEN.

"When will the Secretary of State ensure that children with autism get ring fenced funding and schools can provide properly for them?"

Education Minister Nadhim Zahawi replied: "High needs funding for children and young people with complex special educational needs, including those with autism, is now £6 billion this year - the highest it has ever been, and an increase from £5 billion in 2013.

"We've increased overall funding allocations to local authorities for high needs by £130 million in 2017/18 and £142 million in 18/19 and we will increase this further by £120 million in 2019/20."

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