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Rise in court appeals on special needs because of funding.

Rise in court appeals on special needs because of funding.

A funding shortfall for children with special educational needs has led to a surge in court appeals, as families turn to legal action to secure extra help from cash-strapped councils.

With a 26% rise in the last financial year in the number of court appeals by families, MPs are warning of a crisis in special needs care. It is the third successive year that an increase has been recorded. The total of 6,374 appeals lodged in 2018-19 was almost double the number of three years earlier, according to analysis by the Special Needs Jungle website.

The increase in legal action comes amid what insiders describe as a perfect storm hitting provision for special educational needs and disabilities (Send). Schools are struggling to meet the extra costs. That is heaping further pressure on councils, which have a legal obligation to provide care for children that require it. That in turn has led more families to the courts to fight for resources for their children.

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