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ADCS response to the Autumn Statement 2017

ADCS response to the Autumn Statement 2017

In response to the Chancellor’s Autumn Statement, Alison Michalska, ADCS President, said:

“ADCS is extremely disappointed that the Chancellor did not use today’s Budget to reaffirm the government’s commitment to children and young people by addressing the £2bn funding gap in children’s services estimated by 2020. Local authority budgets have been reduced, on average, by 40% since 2010. We have worked tirelessly to protect our communities from the brunt of these cuts by reshaping our services or finding new ways of working but each budget round gets harder as local authorities look for more and more savings on top of those that have come before. We are forced to further reduce services in the very areas we know make an enormous difference to children and their families and can prevent them from reaching crisis point. This, alongside cuts to other public services, has impacted profoundly on our work and our communities. As a result, the number of children expected to be living in poverty by 2022 is a staggering 5.1m. This will only increase further unless we are given adequate, long-term funding to ensure the needs of children and families are met now and in the future.

“We welcome the changes to Universal Credit which will help families claiming benefits, to some extent, but these do not go far enough. Many families will still struggle to afford basic things like food and heating as they wait up to five weeks for their initial payment.

“The Chancellor announced some new initiatives in Maths and IT which do not even begin to address the extent of financial and wider pressures on our schools. Every child deserves a rich and fulfilling educational experience but, sadly, schools are forced to offer a reduced curriculum, cut extra-curricular activities and make staff redundant to balance the books. A country can only be fit for the future if it puts its children first now.”

ENDS



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