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Special Education Cuts

Educational Changes are damaging the service Schools can offer to Children with Special Education Needs

 

 

The coalition government’s educational policy proposed by Michael Gove and his team at the Department for Education is deeply damaging to the long-term prospects of children in England’s schools. Michael Gove has attempted to force through examination changes which he had to abandon. He has narrowed the school curriculum for state schools. He has pressured schools to move out of local democratic control through his academy programme.

 

Now the Department’s latest funding formula has devastated the budgets that schools use to support children with Special Educational Needs. Even the local Tory administration at Cheshire East is critical of the latest changes.

 

An unbelievable £3,227,211 has been removed from primary schools and £2,086,963 from secondary schools across the Borough. Some schools have lost over £100,000 each from their budgets. Furthermore, if a child has a Statement of Educational Needs, then the first £10,000 of support has to be found within the school’s own budget. No additional help will be available.

 

These cuts have been introduced without consultation and with little explanation. Headteachers across the borough are left asking how they can maintain the specialist support needed by the children in their care.

 

Cllr Ken Edwards, Labour Councillor for Macclesfield Central, said

“I have worked in the English Educational system for over 30 years. I have always been conscious that each child gets only one chance in school to develop their talents and abilities. I have never known such an enormous reduction in resources introduced so quickly. Headteachers and governors need to make the strongest possible representations to local politicians and where necessary, if their schools have academy status, directly to the Department of Education. Pupils cannot progress without effective support and parents too need to add their weight. Our children are our future. We need all children’s talents and abilities to be nurtured and encouraged. There are some cuts that cannot and should not be absorbed and tolerated.

 

“Michael Gove has forced schools to move out of local democratic support to a centralised system directly under government control with the support of private sponsorship.”

 

Laura Jeuda, Labour Councillor for Macclesfield South, said,

“A school in my area which only several years ago was considered to be a failing school has recently had an Outstanding Ofsted report. The current Head, Staff and Governors have turned this school around even though they have a substantial number of children entering the school with extra learning needs. The School’s philosophy is that all children can succeed given the right kind of support and care. That however, does cost money.

How will schools like this one in areas of high deprivation continue to give those children and young people a chance if this funding is removed?

When schools have to meet the first £10.000 of support for a child with Special Educational Needs, this may well dissuade some schools from accepting children with additional needs

 

Cllr Sam Corcoran, Labour Councillor for Sandbach Heath & East, said

“Sandbach primary schools are facing funding cuts of over £300,000 next year. That is over £200 per pupil. These cuts come at a time when primary schools in Sandbach are bursting at the seams.”

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