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Children with Special Educational Needs and Disabilities

Volume 664: debated on Monday 9 September 2019

16. What plans he has to improve the provision of services for children with special educational needs and disabilities in schools. (912324)

I am grateful to the hon. Gentleman for his question, which gives me another opportunity to let everyone know that the Government have announced an additional £14 billion for schools over the next three years, including the £700 million of high-needs funding for special educational needs and disabilities that we have been discussing.

Pupils with SEND account for nearly half the 41 pupils excluded from schools every day, which is contributing to the increase in the number of pupils being home schooled. What support is being given to pupils with SEND who are being home schooled?

We are going to be looking at that as part of a review into special educational needs and disabilities, and I refer the hon. Gentleman to the written ministerial statement that we laid before Parliament today.

Around 100 children in Harlow are without an education today as the Aspire Academy, run by TBAP, has closed yet again. Despite numerous meetings with Ministers and the academies commissioner, no action has yet been taken. Will my hon. Friend commit to the re-brokering of this school, so that a new academy can take it over and allow the children to return to their learning and the teachers to teaching? Mismanagement by the TBAP academy chain has gone on long enough.

An Ofsted inspection of the Aspire Academy in June 2019 rated the academy as inadequate and requiring special measures. The regional schools commissioner for east of England and north-east London issued a termination warning notice letter to TBAP, but a decision is yet to be made about the Aspire Academy and whether it will remain in the trust.