Gloucestershire faces a £4.1m excessive wants training overspend
School principals in Gloucestershire expect more than £ 4.1 million extra spending on high-need education in the current financial year.
Tax officials had estimated an extra £ 3,573,300 in 2021/22, but the latest forecast suggests they will have to spend an additional £ 532,000.
Philip Haslett, Director of Education Strategy and Development for Gloucestershire County Council, explained the reasons for the expected increase at a school forum held last week (September 16).
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He said there was an adjustment of £ 250,000 to the mainstream replenishment budget to support additional therapies and tailored packages for special educational needs.
The cost of therapies and bespoke packages are not additional costs, but they were not included in the initial budget.
Also, the import / export calculation has changed by £ 282,000. This calculation reflects the movement of high-need students between areas of local government, where they live in one area and attend school or college in another, adding additional costs to the latter community.
Mr. Haslett said: “We are disappointed that what we are seeing is a departure from the forecast result.
“We have to get to a point where we really exceed that forecast and know where this problem is going.
“The discussions about strategy and plans and how we approach the problem with the high requirements depends on the scope and our understanding of it.
“We spent way too much last year, £ 5.5m, but we were on top from the beginning of the year.
“We have moved away from that this year.
“There were some initial problems with budgeting. A quarter of a million pounds that should have been included for specialized support services was not originally in the budget.
“And the second problem was that the import and export calculation has increased significantly.
He said the emerging issue the county sees is a steady increase in costs associated with education after 16 years.
“It’s pretty significant this year,” he said.
“What we’ve been seeing for four or five years and beyond is clearly the continued increase in the number of education, health and care plans within the system.”
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