Faculty funding in disaster says Swindon schooling professional
Funding for Swindon’s schools is in crisis, says education expert and chair of Swindons Schools Forum Jackie Smith.
Ms. Smith, the chief executive officer of the Brunel Special Educational Needs Multi-Academy Trust, which operates schools for children with special needs across Swindon, spoke while presenting a report on a plan to rebalance the county school’s budget bring.
Officials Annette Perrington and Jo Godwin briefed members of a plan to reduce the deficit, which is heading to £ 4.5 million by the end of this fiscal year.
The funding gap is caused by over-spending on the high-needs budget that provides extra support for children with disabilities or special needs for this year and the last two.
Ms. Perrington said the recovery plan was requested by the Department of Education and said, “We are using the plan and will do the work to bring the budget back into balance.
“We proposed a five-year plan to the DfE – trying to rebalance the budget after three years would have a huge impact on schools and children.”
Actions in the recovery plan include investing in speech and language therapy, a focus on early years and primary schools, and outcomes from prenatal to age five through investments in language and language, therapy teams, and language and language screening tools.
The overall goal is earlier support and intervention to reduce the need for more extensive and expensive support for older children.
Ms. Perrington added, “By clarifying and investing in better practices in the plan, we believe we are in a much better place to go back to the DfE and say we need more money here, here and here.”
His colleague Jo Godwin presented figures that showed that even with such investments, the projected deficit could increase by several million pounds.
Forum member Andy Steele, director of Highworth Warneford School, said, “These are scary numbers and that transparency shows a lot of complexity. My colleagues and I need to understand them better and educate ourselves to understand everything. ”
Chairman Jackie Smith said, “Funding for the school is in crisis, especially for SEND. Funding for places has not increased since 2014 – a teaching assistant now costs a lot more than one in 2014. It really is a crisis.