​Comment on Spending Review 2021

ADCS President Charlotte Ramsden said:

“Today’s multi-year funding settlement provides some vital additional funds for children and families, many of whom continue to feel the effects of the pandemic in their day to day lives. Extra funding for the Supporting Families programme, school places for children with SEND, funding for youth work and the expansion of Family Hubs is recognition of the need for national investment in children and families, especially in relation to earlier help, something that has been absent in recent years. Nevertheless, any additional funding for local authorities will also need to take account of the rising costs of delivering services and the increasing demand many local authorities are experiencing. However, we hope that this is the first step in achieving a sustainable, long term funding settlement that fully meets the needs of children and families so that they can thrive, not just survive.

“The announcement of additional funding for education recovery is welcome, but does not yet go far enough to meet the needs of children and young people who have experienced a substantial loss of learning opportunities over the last 18 months and continue to experience disruption in significant numbers. Both schools and FE colleges have been under considerable strain over the past two years, we must go further to help them meet this significant challenge, including meeting their wider support needs well.

“It is right that the government recognises the challenges faced by early years providers. Early years services are a vital resource for families, yet providers have struggled to remain open over the course of the pandemic. This funding falls well short of what is needed for the sector to achieve a sustainable footing going forward but will go some way to supporting the training and development of the workforce, an area that has been significantly overlooked. That said, we welcome funding for parenting support and peri-natal mental health through family hubs to support the critical early years of children’s lives.

“Whilst it is positive that extra funding has been allocated to develop more school places for children with SEND, this will take time to deliver and only alleviates some of the substantial pressures in the system. We still await the outcome of the SEND review which must address the systemic challenges we now face in the delivery of our statutory duties.

“We will continue to champion children’s rights and to call for the government to invest fully in their futures.”

ENDS



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