Devon schools’ chief welcomes spending boost
Posted on: 11 October 2019
Devon’s schools’ chief is welcoming a big spending boost for education in the county.
But he is warning that more needs to be done to bring Devon’s schools into line with the national average.
And he says he is disappointed that Devon won’t get as much extra help for children with special needs as he expected.
The Government today announced that the South West will get a five per cent increase in per pupil funding in the next financial year.
Along with the East Midlands, that’s the highest percentage regional rise in the country and compares with London on 3.2 per cent and the North West on 4.1 per cent.
The new allocations mean just over £19 million extra for schools in Devon.
That’s £228 more for each pupil in a primary school and £184 for each secondary student.
But the new figures mean Devon still lags behind the national average with every pupil worth £263 less than their counterparts throughout the country.
Devon will also get an extra £6 million next year to help vulnerable children with special needs.
He said: “This is a big step forward for fair funding for education in Devon.
“The Government promised to level up the unfair funding system and they have made a good start.
“The South West – including Devon – has enjoyed the highest regional rise in funding compared with more affluent councils in London and the metropolitan areas.
“But that doesn’t mean we have finished yet. Schools have had nearly 10 years of austerity and we need to fund education better so we can compete on the world stage.
“But I believe Ministers and civil servants have been listening to heads, governors and parents in the campaigns Devon County Council has mounted.
“However, I am very disappointed that we have not been granted more money for special needs education.
“Our analysis after the Chancellor’s speech last month based on pupil numbers suggested we would receive an extra £8.6 million.
“In fact today’s announcement reveals we will get an increase of £6 million.
“There is undoubtedly a crisis in special education in this country and in Devon we are looking at an overspend of nearly £16 million this year.
“Other local councils face similar financial problems. So we must continue to campaign for a fully fair funding system for our schools and we will continue to campaign strongly for greater support for our most vulnerable children.”Posted in: DCC Homepage