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Equipment to help disabled children part of new £37m funding boost

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Children with special educational needs and disabilities in England will benefit from £37.3m of direct support in 2020-21.

Government says it expects to help more than 75,000 families in England.

Families with children that have complex needs and disabilities will receive grants for vital equipment to make their lives easier while implementing social distancing measures, including computers, specialist equipment and educational toys.

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£10m of the total has been committed specifically in response to the unique difficulties presented by the coronavirus pandemic, helping parents educate and look after disabled or critically ill children who are staying at home more than usual.

The multi-million-pound settlement for Family Fund, detailed by Children and Families Minister Vicky Ford, will help low-income families with seriously ill or disabled children with the cost of equipment, goods or services.

The grants are typically worth £400 to £500 per family, but vary depending on need.

Commenting, Ford said: “Our first priority remains the safety and wellbeing of vulnerable children, including those with special educational needs and disabilities.”

Adding: “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.”

While Dame Christine Lenehan, director of the Council for Disabled Children, said: “I am delighted that the government has recognised the needs of the most complex children with disabilities at this critical time.

“Family Fund provides support for some of the poorest families and £37 million will make a real difference to meet the direct challenges they face. Continued support and a refreshed SEND review, as soon as is reasonably practicable, will be needed to keep momentum in this area.”

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Alex Douglas

The author Alex Douglas

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