ASCL comment on opening of new special schools

Pepe Di’Iasio, General Secretary of the Association of School and College Leaders, responds to the government’s announcement of the opening of 16 new special schools.
"While this investment in new special schools is very welcome, we are worried that it is too little too late. Government figures show that around two-thirds of special schools are at or over capacity, but these new special schools are unlikely to be up and running for several years. The pressure on places is happening right now and the lack of capacity in the system is the result of the government’s underinvestment in schools over the past 14 years. This is compounded by an absolute crisis in the special educational needs system in general with the level of need far outstripping the funding and specialist support that is available.
“When the Chancellor announced this new wave of special schools in his Budget in March he did absolutely nothing to address the wider issue of the strain on special educational needs provision, or the wider funding pressures on schools and colleges. Instead he announced tax cuts.”