Research showing that 1,500 children with special needs and disabilities have no education provision has underlined the need for the new Kisharon School, which will offer 72 places when it opens in September 2020, doubling its current intake.
The new school in Parson Street will offer innovative approaches and cutting-edge facilities to children with learning disabilities and autism, including a hydrotherapy pool.
The Newsnight figure of 1,500 children without a school place may be an under estimate as just 25 per cent of councils in England were questioned by the programme’s researchers.
The children involved all had educational and health care plans (EHCPs) and parents interviewed said their children had been ‘squeezed out’ to cut costs. Children with special needs, but no EHCP, were not included in the research.
One parent said school had become overwhelming for her six-year-old son with autism and he was excluded just weeks after starting. He has been without a school place for two years.
The extra funding brought to the school by pupils with special needs is well below the actual cost of the specialist help they need, Newsnight reported, and this puts increasing financial pressure on budgets.<< Back