SCHOOLS are to get Pounds 60 million to help them cope with the rising numbers of special educational needs pupils, the Government announced this week.
The programme, which is backed by Pounds 30m of new money, will include additional training, adaptations to buildings, and a simplified code of practice to reduce bureaucracy and boost school-based support.
It forms the Government's response to last year's Green Paper on special educational needs.
The action plan includes nearly doubling the standards fund cash for special needs to Pounds 37m to provide training, foster inclusion, and to promote links between special and mainstream schools.
An extra Pounds 16m will be available to make mainstream schools more accessible to disabled pupils.
Parents of special needs children will get better support through parent partnership schemes.
The aim is also to reduce the number of statements issued each year - currently nearly 3 per cent of the school population.
But the Government has no plans to remove the legal protection offered by statements, or parents' right to request one.