The pandemic has been especially hard for children with special educational needs and disabilities, and their families. We have increased high-needs funding by £780 million this year, with another £730 million next year—a 24% increase. Our SEND review is well under way, and focuses on ensuring that the system supports and delivers for every child.
What particular educational support is being provided to children with dyslexia through the covid-19 pandemic restrictions?
That is an excellent question. We know that for children with special education needs, including dyslexia, the impact of school closures may have been greater than for other children. The additional £700 million of recovery funding announced last week, on top of the £1 billion already provided, can be used by schools for extra support for those with SEND. Of the 33 providers on the national tutoring programme, 26 have specific expertise in supporting children with special educational needs.
I know from the three special schools in my constituency what an amazing job the teachers do to support children and young people with complex disabilities, as well as special educational needs. Will the Minister confirm that all teachers in those settings are entitled to a covid jab? What else can the Government do to support schools to be covid-secure?
I thank all schools, especially those special schools that have helped to care for vulnerable children throughout the pandemic. Attendance has risen. We have provided bespoke advice on testing children with special educational needs, and we will provide families of all pupils with access to home testing, including those with special educational needs. That will help to keep covid out of the classroom. Where a teacher is supporting a clinically extremely vulnerable child, as the care provider that teacher may also be entitled to a vaccine, and those decisions are made locally.