New £250m high needs funding announcement: CCN response

CCN Latest News, CCN News 2018 | 16 December 2018

Today the Education Secretary Damian Hinds has announced an additional £250m for high-needs funding for local authorities over the next two years.

This additional £250m for high needs pupils is split into £125m in 2018/19 and a further £125m in 2019-20.

The County Councils Network has been at the forefront of calling for extra funding for special educational needs pupils, with the network’s research showing that county authorities were projected to overspend on their high-needs block by £175m over a three year period. County leaders had been in the ‘regrettable’ position of having to speaking to their local schools to request a transfer of funding from the schools budget to make up the high needs shortfall.

View that research here.

Below, CCN responds to the announcement:

Cllr Carl Les, County Councils Network children’s services and education spokesman, and leader of North Yorkshire County Council, said:

“The County Councils Network has been at the forefront of the campaign to highlight funding pressures within special educational needs. We called on the government to immediately inject money into the system, and ministers have listened. Today’s announcement is a welcome shot in the arm, which will help meet extra demand and reduce our overspends over next two years, helping to ensure more children get the support they need. County leaders have been making the case in public and in private, and we are pleased that ministers have listened.

“Our research showing that overspends on these vital services for young people had increased by 63% over the past three years for the high needs block of funding, projected to total £175m by 2020 in county areas. Funding had remained static whilst demand rose, and as a result many councils were left in the regrettable position of having to request to move money from other schools and use their own resources to make up the shortfall.

“Looking ahead, we should be under no illusions of the scale of the challenge – the demand for special educational needs services shows no signs of abating. Next year’s Spending Review offers the perfect opportunity to set out a long-term funding solution for special educational needs, and we urge ministers to build on today’s announcement and ensure that these services are adequately funded in the long-term.”