Spring Budget 2017
Commenting on Chancellor Philip Hammond’s Spring Budget announcement Dave Hill, President of ADCS, said:
“The government has today announced that it will invest £320m to fund 140 more free schools. Whilst additional funding to create more schools at a time when we face a growing shortage of school places is welcome, the Department for Education must work with local authorities to ensure that new schools are built in areas of need and are developed in line with local authority sufficiency challenges. Schools are facing funding pressures, a growing teacher recruitment crisis and overcrowded classrooms. Investment in education is an investment in children and young people’s futures and central government needs to ensure that funding across the whole school system is sustainable and effective.”
“The government also announced that it will expand the entitlement for free home to school transport to children attending the nearest selective school in their area. In 2015/16 local authorities spent around £1bn a year on home to school transport; whilst supporting disadvantaged children and young people to access education is absolutely right, extending the selective system and transport offer is not the correct way to do this. This places a significant new burden on local authorities which must be adequately funded by government.
“We are pleased that the government has invested more money into adult social care but we urge the government to recognise the growing pressures in children’s social care too. Over the past decade councils have been forced to make extremely tough choices in children’s services at a time when more vulnerable children and families need help and support but funding for these services continues to erode. To date we have protected vital services for children and young people by creatively redesigning services or through the pooling together of local budgets but the impact of austerity on our communities is now all too evident. With fundamental changes in the way that councils are funded on the horizon, and with the LGA estimating that children’s services face a £1.9bn funding gap by 2020, it is important that challenges facing vital services for children, young people and their families are given the recognition and long term, sustainable funding that they both need and deserve. Without this we will be letting down generations of children and young people.”
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