Fees for special needs pupils spiral costs spiral

9th February 2007 at 00:00
Independent school fees for special educational needs pupils have risen by 79 per cent in the past six years, but councils have no idea if they are getting value for money, a spending watchdog has found.

Local authorities in England now spend more than pound;500million every year placing complex special educational needs pupils in specialist institutions outside their own schools.

According to an Audit Commission report published this week, the average annual cost per pupil had reached pound;57,150.

Although councils had made progress in supporting children with complex needs in recent years, the full costs were often unknown and many local authorities had not challenged the fees.

"Ultimately this means that some councils are being charged increasing amounts for provision that may not be the most appropriate for an individual child," the commission said.

Les Lawrence, chair of the Local Government Association's children and young people board, said the report did not fairly represent councils'

drive to help children with special educational needs.

"They still have a long way to go to develop integrated programmes but, like so many areas of state support, councils cannot deliver the services in isolation," he said.

www.audit-commission.gov.uk

Subscribe to get access to the content on this page.

If you are already a Tes/ Tes Scotland subscriber please log in with your username or email address to get full access to our back issues, CPD library and membership plus page.

Not a subscriber? Find out more about our subscription offers.
Subscribe now
Existing subscriber?
Enter subscription number

Comments

The guide by your side – ensuring you are always up to date with the latest in education.

Get Tes magazine online and delivered to your door. Stay up to date with the latest research, teacher innovation and insight, plus classroom tips and techniques with a Tes magazine subscription.
With a Tes magazine subscription you get exclusive access to our CPD library. Including our New Teachers’ special for NQTS, Ed Tech, How to Get a Job, Trip Planner, Ed Biz Special and all Tes back issues.

Subscribe now