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New strategy to help 19,000 children in Norfolk with special educational needs

PUBLISHED: 08:45 04 July 2019 | UPDATED: 09:54 04 July 2019

Protesters march against government 'under-funding' of education for children with special needs in Norwich city centre in May. Picture: DENISE BRADLEY

Protesters march against government 'under-funding' of education for children with special needs in Norwich city centre in May. Picture: DENISE BRADLEY

The public are being asked to give their views on a new strategy to support children with special educational needs and disabilities (SEND) in Norfolk.

The three-year strategy from Norfolk County Council outlines plans to make education more inclusive for children with SEND, improve support services and deliver more specialist provision.

It includes the council's £120m programme to build up to four new specialist schools, creating 500 new places, develop more specialist bases for children with SEND in mainstream schools and grow community-based outreach services.

Statistics released by the Department for Education on Thursday show that, as of January 2019, around one in six children (15.7pc) in Norfolk had special educational needs - around 19,000 in total.

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Of these 3,900 had an education, health and care plan (EHCP), which specifies and quantifies the support they need in school.

Parent and carer groups, the health service and education providers have given their input to the strategy.

The deadline for comments on the SEND strategy is Tuesday, August 13 - see www.norfolk.citizenspace.com.

Members of the council's health and wellbeing board are also due to discuss the strategy and give feedback at their next meeting on July 10.

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