To ask the Secretary of State for Education, what steps he will take to ensure that college students with Special Educational Needs or Disabilities but without High Needs funding, will receive the same level of support they received at school.
1 November 2021
Under Section 66 of the Children and Families Act 2014, if a registered student at a college has special educational needs, the college has a statutory duty to use their best endeavours to secure that the special educational provision called for by the student’s special educational needs is made. They must fulfil this duty for students with special educational needs and disabilities (SEND), regardless of whether the student has an education, health and care (EHC) plan.
When deciding on the provision to be made for a particular young person with SEND, colleges and local authorities must have regard to the SEND Code of Practice. The Code is clear that professionals working with young people with SEND should involve the parents and the young person at every stage of planning and reviewing support, and take into account their wishes, feelings and perspectives.
The department is committed to providing extra funding for students who need extra help. This includes, in the 2021/22 academic year, almost £532 million to help colleges, schools and other providers to support disadvantaged 16 to 19‐year olds.
This includes a block of funding to support students with additional needs, including moderate learning difficulties and disabilities, with funding to institutions based on the number of students with low prior attainment in maths and/or English. Providers, including colleges, decide exactly how to use this funding.
Learners aged over 19 are funded through the Adult Education Budget. Providers can access learning support funds to enable them to meet the additional needs of learners with learning difficulties and/or disabilities to meet the costs of reasonable adjustments, as set out in the Equality Act 2010.
Support can cover a range of needs, including an assessment for dyslexia, funding to pay for specialist equipment or helpers and arranging signers or note takers. If a learner needs significant levels of support to start or continue learning, and has support costs of more than £19,000 in a funding year, there is a mechanism to enable providers to claim exceptional learning support.