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Twenty more councils will be forced to make sweeping changes to their special educational needs (SEND) provision in exchange for government bailouts which now total nearly £1 billion.

The latest announcement means ministers have sealed “safety valve” deals of £989 million with 34 councils to help plug high needs funding deficits since 2020-21 (see latest councils below).

But the handouts – a key policy of the Department for Educations’ SEND reforms – come with strict conditions. 

Town halls have been told to create inclusive cultures – such as an “inclusion charter” – in mainstream schools while reducing spend on expensive independent placements.

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