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SEN struggles may be about to worsen

The excellent and thought-provoking article "Funding overhaul may leave most in need without" (29 March) exposes flaws in the current government's plans for the funding methodology and support for the life plans (careers) for those with special needs or learning difficulties andor disabilities.

Of significant concern is the minimal base or core funding, which will make planning and organisation difficult for special schools, particularly if there is an imbalance between the numbers of those leaving and new entrants. Staffing and delivery structures and programmes will undoubtedly suffer. Further, staffing ratios will be compromised.

A big fear is that local authorities will use their new powers of allocation to redefine learners' needs in direct response to budgetary restraints. Some groups of learners - those with profound, multiple and complex learning difficulties, for example - could find specific resources denied to them or reduced. Changes in funding methodology will only create more complex mechanisms for those already in great need of specialised and targeted services.

Dr Len Parkyn, Special needs teacher with 35 years' experience, East Sussex.

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