Question to the Department for Education:
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, what steps his Department is taking to support Disability History Month and promote its message across (a) educational settings and (b) Government departments and agencies.
The government is committed to transforming the everyday lives of disabled people. We published the National Disability Strategy in July 2021. This sets out a wide-ranging set of practical actions to improve the lives of disabled people, including in relation to education.
Individual education settings may make their own arrangements, internally and externally, to recognise Disability History Month. The Department for Education has a long history of celebrating difference, including Disability Awareness Month internally, and is also taking a range of actions to improve the education of disabled children and young people. In particular, we will be consulting in the first three months of 2022 on ways to strengthen the special educational needs and disabilities (SEND) system through the SEND Review.
We have also increased high needs funding for children and young people with complex SEND. In the summer, we announced a further £780 million for financial year 2022-23, building on an increase of more than £1.5 billion over the two years since 2019-20, and bringing the total high needs budget next year to £8.9 billion. The autumn 2021 Spending Review delivers an additional £4.7 billion for the core schools’ budget (schools and high needs) by financial year 2024-25, including an additional £1.6 billion in 2022-23, on top of the funding increases we announced last summer.
We are also investing £2.6 billion between 2022 and 2025 to deliver new places and improve existing provision for pupils with SEND or who require alternative provision. This funding represents a transformational investment in new high needs provision and will help deliver tens of thousands of new places.