THURROCK council is expecting an increase in the number of children with special educational needs.
A report to cabinet outlines expected increases in children with autism, youngsters with speech and language difficulties and those with learning difficulties over the next five years.
The council has outlined plans to increase provision for such children within schools and for those who need residential care outside the borough if none is available locally.
Children who need social emotional and mental health support are expected to increase.
The report said: “Our analysis has shown that we will need to increase specialist provision in Thurrock to meet identified needs within mainstream and existing provisions. We also need to improve access to specialist out of borough provision where needed to ensure we can meet the high level of complex needs within our SEND children/young people.”
The increase is thought to be down to a rise in population in Thurrock.
The report adds: “Ensuring we have the right educational placement for children and young people who have special educational needs with residential provision if needed, is key to supporting children and young people to achieve their potential and to develop the range of skills and experiences they need to equip them for adulthood, independent living.
“We have recently undertaken a comprehensive needs analysis, this has outlined that we expect to see an increase in the number of children and young people we support over the next five years. In part reflecting population growth, which is increasing at a faster rate than in other local authorities.”