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Special Educational Needs: Finance

Volume 481: debated on Tuesday 21 October 2008

To ask the Secretary of State for Children, Schools and Families what proportion of funding for schools in England was directed to students with special needs and learning difficulties in 2007-08; and what proportion of the school student body they comprised. (227901)

During the 2007-08 financial year, local authorities in England budgeted to spend almost £4.9 billion on the provision of education for pupils with special educational needs. This £4.9 billion represents a 76.0 per cent. increase since the 2000-01 financial year (comparable data are not available prior to 2000-01) and 12.8 per cent. of local authorities’ total planned education revenue expenditure for 2007-08. In addition to the planned expenditure of almost £4.9 billion, local authorities in England also budgeted a further £554.9 million for SEN transport during 2007-08.

As at January 2008, 20 per cent. of pupils had special educational needs (SEN), 2.8 per cent. had SEN ‘statements’ and 17.2 per cent. had SEN without statements. Much of the expenditure on the latter group will come from schools’ general budgets and will not be included within the £4.9 billion identified for SEN.