A £37m settlement has been announced today (May 19) by the Department of Education to support children with complex needs in 2020-21.
Children with special educational needs and disabilities are set to benefit from £37.3m of direct support over the next year, expected to help over 75,000 families in England.
The money will be turned into grants and delivered to families with children who have complex needs and disabilities, to pay for vital equipment needed to make social distancing measures more achievable, including computers, specialist equipment and educational toys.
Families staying at home more than usual to shield themselves from the coronavirus, and are looking after and educating critically ill or disabled children themselves, will be supported by £10m of the settlement specifically dedicated to their unique needs.
The money has been agreed for Family Fund, detailed today by Vicky Ford Children and Families Minister, and will support low-income families with the cost of specialist equipment, goods or services that they might otherwise miss out on.
Children and Families Minister Vicky Ford said:
“Our first priority remains the safety and wellbeing of vulnerable children, including those with special educational needs and disabilities. I know that these unprecedented times may put additional pressure on families, particularly those whose children have the most complex needs, and these parents deserve some extra help to look after and educate them at home.
“From computers and tablets to household items that many of us take for granted, this new funding will directly benefit tens of thousands of families, making sure parents of children with special educational needs and disabilities get the support they need at this difficult time and beyond.”
Family Fund works to improve the quality of life for families raising disabled or seriously ill children by easing their daily pressures.
Cheryl Ward, Chief Executive of Family Fund, said:
“Family Fund welcomes this commitment of an additional £10 million in emergency funding. It will make an incredible difference to thousands of families in England during this crisis, providing practical and essential grant support to help improve the quality of life and ease some of the additional daily pressures faced in these difficult times by many disabled children and their families.”