November 14, 2021


by: admin


Tags: 85M, education, overspend, rise, special


Categories: Special needs education

Particular schooling overspend might rise to £85M

Parish hall

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Special Education Funding (SEND) is a national scandal.

Senior Devon councilors are calling on the government to clarify funding for special education after the county over-spending on the service is expected to reach £ 85 million.

Councils have been instructed to put overspending on Support for Children with Special Educational Needs and Disabilities (SEND) in separate accounts for three years through April 2023. This means that the shortfall does not currently count towards Devon’s main sales figures.

The county council started this year with a total spend of £ 49 million in its dedicated SEND account. Another £ 36million is expected in 2021/22, according to the latest budget report.

However, it is not yet known what will happen to the debt when the deal ends. At a meeting of the council’s government cabinet earlier this week, city councils from all sides expressed concern about the situation.

Opposition leader Alan Connett (Lib Dem, Exminster & Haldon) said it was “real money the county council spent” while Labor Group chairman Council Rob Hannaford (Exwick & St. Thomas) said it was “a major concern “Designated and required action.

“Despite all the work that is going on in the children’s services and in the treasury, there is still a concern that if we are not careful, if we are not careful, if we are not careful, resources will be sucked up to fill this black hole .

“That’s definitely not what we need. We want more money for schools, more money for children’s services and these debts paid off. I know it’s a big question, but that’s what we’re going to have to ask and I hope we’ll actually get that. ‘

In response, Children’s Services Cabinet Council Andrew Leadbetter (Conservative, Weirside & Topsham) said, “We have to address this money that has been put aside at some point, and it’s high on my agenda. ‘

He recently spoke with officials from the Department of Education about the matter and invited the Undersecretary of State to visit.

“We do lobby work. I will ask the Devon MPs for their support. I am already campaigning for the government to have to help us with this.

“You told us to put it aside. I think it would be unfair if they then expect us to take care of the whole issue ourselves, so there is an awful lot of work … how to deal with this deficit is top of the agenda. “

Presenting the budget figures to the Cabinet, Councilor Phil Twiss (Conservative, Feniton & Honiton) said that this year’s forecasted additional spending for SEND of £ 36m compared to the last update in September increased by nearly 3m requests for Education and Health Plans (EHCPs ).

The plans identify the needs of a child or young person who may need additional support beyond what the school can provide. As a result of the additional demand, the budget report states that it “had a significant impact on the ability to … reduce the demand for EHCPs by supporting mainstream children”. [schools].

According to the report, education officers have “developed a joint management plan designed to ensure that children with special educational needs receive the support they need and at the same time [overspend]. ‘

But it warned, “By this process and [the Department of Education’s] Feedback, we all recognized that the original financial assumptions underlying the identified savings were ambitious. These assumptions are therefore checked. ‘

The updated projections come after the county council vice chairman wrote to the government last month asking for more money for Devon’s schools and SEND services.

In his letter on SEND, Councilor James McInnes (Conservative, Hatherleigh & Chagford) said: “This remains a major concern. The number of children with special educational needs and their complexity continues to grow, with demand far exceeding budgets.

“While we welcome the increase in SEND funding over the past two or three years, both mainstream and special schools require significant additional funding. We urge the government to release the long overdue SEND review and revise the SEND system to ensure that it is doing its job. ‘

In response to the letter, Cllr Connett said the SEND funding was a “national scandal,” adding, “This is the county council’s credit card that is being turned back to provide really vital services to the most vulnerable children with special needs to maintain. “

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