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Consultation launched over plans to improve support in schools for children with special education needs

A consultation has been launched over plans to improve support in schools for children with special educational needs.

Staffordshire County Council says it hopes the proposals would see more pupils taught closer to home.

The authority says the Special Education Needs and Disability (SEND) strategy is designed to improve provision and make processes simpler.

Cllr Mark Sutton, Staffordshire County Council’s Cabinet member for children and young people, said: “The intention is simple, we want all children with special educational needs and disabilities to be able to reach their potential by receiving the right support at the right time in their own communities, at their local school or place of education.

“We have already developed several pilot schemes, where people are working together in their communities to reshape SEND support and we want to share their knowledge with the rest of Staffordshire.”

Figures show that more than 15,800 students – around 13% of all pupils – across the county have special education needs, while there has also been a 33% increase over the past five years in the number of youngsters requiring “high support”.

Cllr Sutton added: “The increasing demand in Staffordshire is no different to the rest of the country and it’s clear that we have make sure every young person receives the help they need.

“The feedback is clear, parents want us to work closely with families to allow their children to live as safely and independently as possible and for them to learn and achieve as much as possible in their own communities.”

People can find the consultation online. It runs until 21st December.

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