Go back a step

Contact a Family responds to school funding announcement

Wednesday 19th July 2017

Earlier this year, Contact a Family expressed concerns about the impact of proposed school funding plans on disabled children and children with special educational needs (SEN).

On Monday in parliament, the secretary of state, Justine Greening MP, made a series of announcements on school funding.

Over the next two financial years, the government is making available additional funding of £1.3 billion a year for schools and high needs block on top of the of their previous spending plans.

This means the overall budget will increase from around £41 billion in 2017-18 to £42.4 billion in 2018-19, and to £43.5 billion in 2019-20. This increase is shared across both core schools funding and the high needs block.

The additional funding has been found through saving in other parts of the Department of Education's budget, particularly in the capital and free schools budgets.

Local authorities will continue to set a local formula to distribute that funding, and to determine individual schools' budgets in 2018-19 and 2019-20, in consultation with schools in the area.

The government intends to allow some additional flexibility between the schools block and the high needs block. The details of this will emerge shortly in technical guidance published later this week.

Una Summerson, our head of policy, said:

"These announcements are definitely a step in the right direction. It's good that per pupil funding will be maintained in real terms until 2019/20, particularly as the children on SEN support would be likely to be worst affected. The government has clearly been listening to parents and schools about their concerns, which we welcome.

"We will need to see the technical guidance before we can make a more considered judgement. So we therefore remain concerned about the pressure on the high needs block, overall school budgets and flexibility between the blocks to ensure disabled children and children with SEN have their needs met in school." 

Read the government's full statement.

For advice about support in school call the helpline, read our education web pages.