CALLS have been made for more funding to help provide support for young people with special educational needs and disabilities.

Blackburn with Darwen Council executive member for children's services and education, Cllr Maureen Bateson, made the call as members of the council's people overview and scrutiny committee discussed a recent Ofsted and CQC inspection of SEND provision in the borough.

Inspectors highlighted how local leaders in Blackburn and Darwen are committed to improving the lives of children and young people with Special Educational Needs or Disabilities (SEND).

Representatives for Ofsted and the CQC spoke with children and young people with SEND, parents, carers and staff from Blackburn with Darwen Borough Council, schools, education settings and Blackburn with Darwen Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) as part of the inspection.

Cllr Maureen Bateson said: "The council up to now has been able to support its high needs budget pretty well but that will run out shortly.

"Every authority in the north west is having severe financial pressures because of a lack of a high needs budget.

"We have had provision but after this year's budget we hope any new secretary of state will beputting money into high needs education because that's where the real challenges are."

Cllr Sylvia Liddle said: "This is a situation which has been pointed out nationally by headteachers sending letters to Government.

High needs funding is intended to provide the most appropriate support package for children and young people from early years up to aged 25 with special educational needs and disabilities in a range of settings, taking account of parental and student choice.