New Funding To Support Children With Special Educational Needs

Education Secretary Damian Hinds has announced an additional £350 million to support children with complex needs and disabilities

The Rt Hon Damian Hinds MP

The Rt Hon Damian Hinds MP

Children with special educational needs and disabilities (SEND) are set to benefit from an extra £350 million funding to provide specialist support and tailored facilities, helping those with complex needs to succeed.

The Education Secretary Damian Hinds has today (Sunday 16 December) announced that councils will receive an additional £250 million over the next two years on top of the £6 billion already provided for the high needs budget this year, to provide much needed support for children and young people with complex SEND.

Families will also benefit from more choice for their child’s education through an extra £100 million investment to create more specialist places in mainstream schools, colleges and special schools, giving more children and young people access to a good school or college place that meets their individual needs. This could include more state-of-the-art facilities, such as sensory rooms and specialist equipment.

On top of this, more special free schools will get the green light, as the Education Secretary confirms he will approve all high quality bids in the current round of special and alternative provision free schools applications, creating even more choice for parents.

Education Secretary Damian Hinds said:

Being a parent, we all want the very best for our children. We want them to attend a school that supports them to thrive, go on to higher or further education or training, find a job that’s right for them, and to live happy and fulfilled lives.

For children with special educational needs this is no different. It is important that they have the right support in place at school – whether that is in a mainstream setting, with additional support, or in a special school.

We recognise that the high needs budget faces significant pressures and this additional investment will help local councils to manage those pressures, whilst being able to invest to provide more support.

Every school or college should be one for a young person with special educational needs; every teacher should be equipped to teach them, and families need to feel supported.

The Government has also confirmed an expansion of the funding to train more educational psychologists, who are responsible for assessing children’s needs and providing tailored support as part of the Education, Health and Care needs assessment process. Educational psychologists also provide outreach to teachers and families, providing new support strategies when the complex needs of a child are not being met. From September 2020 there will be a further three training rounds and an increase in the number of trainees from 160 to at least 206, to help keep up with demand for this specialist advice.

Ofsted’s HMCI Amanda Spielman said:

I welcome today’s announcement from the Department for Education, which is good news for children with special educational needs and disabilities (SEND) and their families.

Our inspections show that we still have a long way to go before children and young people with SEND are getting all the support they deserve. In too many local areas, the implementation of the 2014 SEND reforms is not living up to expectations.

We are halfway through our inspections of local areas and have just started to re-visit areas where inspectors have identified significant concerns. We will continue to give real weight to the experience of children and young people with SEND in our inspections of schools.

It is vital that this additional investment makes a much-needed difference to the quality of provision and outcomes achieved by this group of children and young people.

Classroom teachers and those in training will also have a greater focus on supporting children with SEND, as the upcoming Teaching Recruitment and Retention Strategy will make sure all teachers are equipped with the knowledge and skills to meet the needs of all pupils.

Local authority education services will be encouraged to work more closely with health and social care to commission local services that meet the needs of the families and children in their area, as a new advisory SEND System Leadership Board is to be set up. This new expert board will include representatives of local health, social care, and education services, and will work closely with charities, school and families.

To better understand the financial incentives that influence how schools, colleges and councils support children and young people with special educational needs, the Department for Education will be gathering more evidence in the New Year. This will include looking at the first £6,000 schools pay for SEND support costs before accessing additional funding from local high needs budgets.

Graham Olway, Head of School Organisation & Capital Planning, West Sussex County Council and National Chairman of the Education Building Development Officers Group (EBDOG) said:

The introduction of additional SEN capital grant is very much welcomed and will enable the completion of much needed SEN improvements across the country. The growth in SEN is now recognised and this investment will help local authorities continue the work to ensure they can better meet the needs in their community for some of the most vulnerable children in society.

On EU Resolve In Holding Russia Accountable

U.S. Department of State

U.S. Department of State

The United States welcomes recent steps by the EU and its Member States to hold Russia accountable for its aggression against Ukraine. The European Parliament’s December 12 resolution reiterates the importance of Ukraine’s role in the European energy supply network and condemns the construction of the Kremlin-backed Nord Stream 2 pipeline as a political project. We urge Germany to heed the concerns of the many neighbors whose security will be damaged by this pipeline.

We also welcome the unanimous decision of the European Council to extend economic sanctions against Russia. We support the EU position that Russia’s November 25th attack on Ukrainian vessels in the Black Sea constituted a violation of international law and welcome the EU’s efforts to provide support to areas of Ukraine negatively affected by Russian aggression in the Sea of Azov.

The United States will continue to hold Russia accountable for its actions, and we will continue to work with European partners and Allies to present a unified front against the Kremlin’s aggression.

Outcome Of The 24th Session Of The Conference Of The Parties (COP24) To The UN Framework Convention On Climate Change (UNFCCC)

U.S. Department of State

U.S. Department of State

The United States participated in COP24 to protect U.S. interests, advance a level playing field for U.S. business, and promote the U.S. balanced approach to economic growth, energy security, and environmental protection. Judith Garber, Principal Deputy Assistant Secretary in the Bureau of Oceans and International Environmental and Scientific Affairs (OES) at the U.S. Department of State, served as head of the U.S. delegation and delivered the U.S. National Statement. The United States expresses its appreciation to Poland for its hospitality, excellent preparation, and leadership at COP24, which concluded in Katowice on December 15, 2018.

The Administration’s position on the Paris Agreement remains unchanged. On June 1, 2017, the President announced the United States intends to withdraw from the Paris Agreement absent terms more favorable to the American people.

During COP24, the United States highlighted its balanced approach that promotes economic growth, improves energy security, and protects the environment. This balanced approach is gaining traction with pragmatic partner countries who recognize we can protect economic growth and energy security while preserving the environment.

U.S. energy-related CO2 emissions have fallen by 14 percent since 2005, even as the U.S. economy has grown by 19.4 percent. This world-leading achievement and a diverse energy portfolio is possible thanks to early stage research and development and private sector finance and innovation. As U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo recently said, “In America… [w]e’ve unleashed our energy companies to innovate and compete. And our carbon emissions have declined dramatically.”

The United States takes note of the negotiated outcome and appreciates the hard work of our negotiators. The outcome took a significant step toward holding our economic competitors accountable for reporting their emissions in a manner consistent with standards the United States has met since 1992. The United States is not taking on any burdens or financial pledges in support of the Paris Agreement and will not allow climate agreements to be used as a vehicle to redistribute wealth.We will work with our many partner countries to innovate and deploy a broad array of technologies that promote economic growth, improve energy security, and protect the environment.

For press inquiries, please contact

Deputy Secretary John Sullivan’s Meetings With Bulgaria’s Minister Of Foreign Affairs Ekaterina Zakharieva

U.S. Department of State

U.S. Department of State

The below is attributable to Deputy Spokesperson Robert Palladino:‎

In Sofia on December 14, during a meeting with Foreign Minister Ekaterina Zakharieva, Deputy Secretary John Sullivan advocated for NATO-interoperable U.S. systems as Bulgaria seeks to modernize its armed forces. The Deputy Secretary also emphasized the importance of further developing U.S.-Bulgarian commercial ties, fostering stability and economic development of the Western Balkans, and developing ever-closer cooperation within NATO. He also highlighted the importance for Bulgaria of enhancing its energy security.

Plans To Strengthen Protections For Britain’s Most Valuable Treasures At Risk Of Export

The plans would strengthen the export deferral rules and give UK museums and buyers a greater opportunity to keep important artworks and artefacts in the country



New protections to prevent some of the nation’s greatest treasures from being lost to overseas buyers have been outlined by the Government today.

The proposals, set out in a new public consultation, would introduce a formal, legally binding agreement with private sellers, instead of the current ‘gentleman’s agreement’, and give museums and buyers in the UK first refusal on acquisitions.

It would mark the first significant change to the system in over 65 years, and reaffirms the Government’s commitment to the protection of our national treasures, owners’ rights, world-class museums, and the UK’s reputation as a successful international art market.

Michael Ellis, Minister for Arts, Heritage and Tourism, said:

Over the past 65 years our export bar system has saved hundreds of our most valuable cultural objects for the benefit of the nation. However with many exceptional items increasing dramatically in value in recent years, it is right that we strengthen this process.

These plans would protect museums that fundraise in good faith and help to keep national treasures in the UK where they can be seen and enjoyed by the public.

The export deferral process introduces a pause in the export of national treasures overseas to give UK museums and buyers the chance to raise funds and keep them in the country.

Items saved for the nation through the current system includes a gold ring owned by Jane Austen, which was acquired by Jane Austen’s House Museum and a steel dagger and scabbard owned by TE Lawrence that shaped the story of Lawrence of Arabia, which was acquired by The National Army Museum. Also saved was a sapphire and diamond coronet designed by Prince Albert in the year of his wedding to Queen Victoria, and worn by her following his death, that was acquired for £5 million for the Victoria and Albert Museum in August 2017.

Under the current rules, if a UK institution puts in a matching offer on an item subject to an export deferral, it is down to the seller to honour that commitment. The Government wants to strengthen this by introducing a mechanism to ensure that owners are legally bound to honour their commitment of accepting a matching offer from a UK buyer, and thereby remove the risk of reneging on the sale.

Over the last ten years, 40% of items at risk of export – worth a total of £97 million – were saved for the nation by UK museums and galleries.

However the remaining 60% of items at risk of export between 2007/08 and 2016/17 were sold overseas, at a cumulative value of £578.5 million.

The consultation follows an examination of how the export deferral process could be strengthened.

« Older Entries