Councils face an £8 billion funding gap by 2025, while an additional £1.6 billion is required in high needs funding by 2021. It is essential that Government uses the forthcoming Spending Review to address these shortfalls, and to ensure schools are adequately funded to support all children to achieve their ambitions.”
Responding to a statement made by Education Secretary Damian Hinds on the Children in Need review, which has found more needs to be done to tackle inequality in schools, Cllr Anntoinette Bramble, Chair of the Local Government Association’s Children and Young People Board, said:
“The Secretary of State is right to highlight that a range of factors impacts on social mobility. Local government is at the forefront of impacting some of these, including welfare, housing, family services and public health, and is therefore uniquely placed to proactively contribute to improving social mobility of its residents if it is properly funded.
“One of the keys to tackling inequality and social mobility is to give people the best start in life, so it is good that the Government is looking at how to improve education for disadvantaged children. However, as it stands schools are discouraged both financially and in league tables from being inclusive of all children.
“Government could support and incentivise mainstream schools to improve inclusion by setting clearer national expectations of what every school should offer a child and young person, with Ofsted holding to account schools who fail to support looked after children, children in need or those with SEND.
Schools and councils are both struggling with insufficient budgets which makes it increasingly difficult to give children the support they need to thrive. Councils face an £8 billion funding gap by 2025, while an additional £1.6 billion is required in high needs funding by 2021. It is essential that Government uses the forthcoming Spending Review to address these shortfalls, and to ensure schools are adequately funded to support all children to achieve their ambitions.”
Notes to editors
Councils in England face an overall funding gap of £8 billion by 2025. The LGA’s #CouncilsCan campaign aims to influence the forthcoming Spending Review and highlight the growing risk to vital local services if the Government does not take action to secure the financial sustainability of councils. Visit our campaign page for more information .
#CouncilsCan: Spending Review 2019
With the right funding and powers, councils can continue to lead local areas, improve residents’ lives, reduce demand for public services and save money for the taxpayer. Securing the financial sustainability of local services must be the top priority for the Spending Review.