Children’s Commissioner report on total public spending on...

Responding to the Children’s Commissioner report on total public spending on children in England Stuart Gallimore, ADCS President, said:

“There are more children and young people in our society than ever before yet after reading this report you could be forgiven for thinking they’re not a government priority. It is not enough that government rhetoric is focussed on improving children’s life chances, we must also spend a greater share of this country’s resources on them and, crucially, in the right way. The argument for getting the right balance between spending on child protection and early help and preventative services is clear, children’s needs being met earlier, preventing the need for high end services later on, resulting in better outcomes for children and their families. Significantly increased demand for our services, reduced budgets and a funding gap of at least £2bn expected in children’s services by 2020 is forcing local authorities to make counterintuitive decisions like cutting the very services we know help children and families earlier, before their problems reach crisis point. The report also acknowledges growing pressures for councils in supporting children with special educational needs and disabilities. A survey of our members on high needs funding found that in many local authorities the funding allocated by the DfE was insufficient to meet needs which resulted in significant overspends by councils in this area. The long-term impact of the government’s chosen funding approach is seriously concerning, it will most certainly lead to longer term cost implications for all local authorities and takes no account of the human costs. Although money is important, it’s also about valuing children and giving greater consideration to how policy decisions impact them. We urge government to plug the funding gap in children services and commit to a preventative approach to improving children’s outcomes as the golden thread running through all government departments and policy.”

ENDS



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