Wakefield Council has secured a substantial grant of £454,000, enabling enhanced support for children with special educational needs and disabilities (SEND). This boost, stemming from a successful bid to the Department for Education (DfE), marks the third consecutive year of increased funding, with this year’s grant seeing a notable rise of £155,000 compared to the previous allocation of £298,701.

The additional funding paves the way for the creation of a dedicated youth club catering to SEND children. Furthermore, it will facilitate the expansion of afterschool clubs and tailored assistance for those with significant or specific needs, augmenting the existing array of services available to children, young people, and their families impacted by SEND.

Cllr Margaret Isherwood, Cabinet Member for Children and Young People said; “We are pleased to have received additional money so we can continue to increase our offer for children and young people with SEND.

“Next year we can extend our provision, to include homeschooled children to help reduce any isolation they may experience.

“So far, we have seen positive results among the children who have already benefitted, from the activities and services these grants have made possible.

“This is fantastic, and our aim now is to carry on making a lasting impact on their lives and giving them the skills to have a better future.”

This third-year grant will specifically facilitate the continuation of extra short breaks, designed to prepare young people for adulthood. Moreover, it will provide more intensive support to individuals aged 12 and over with autism, social, emotional, and mental health needs.

Scheduled to commence in April 2024, the new services, funded through the Department for Education’s Short Breaks Innovation Fund, will offer an array of evening, weekend, and school holiday activities. This expanded offering aims to provide parents and carers with respite from their caring responsibilities. Additionally, the initiative includes extra whole family and sibling activities, providing families with opportunities to engage in leisure and social activities collectively.