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(UK) Educators union decries special needs funding crisis

Sept 24, 2021, tes: Exclusive: Schools 'need record cash in perilous times'

The government needs to push school spending to its highest ever level to help the country through a “perilous period in history”, a headteacher’s leader has said. Paul Whiteman, general secretary of the NAHT school leaders' union, told Tes that ministers needed to provide schools with funding above the highest level seen previously, which was in 2010.

The union leader highlighted increasing deprivation and mental health needs and the funding crisis for pupils with special educational needs and disabilities (SEND) as reasons why a major step change in funding is needed. … Mr Whiteman said that while Covid catch-up was a short-term priority, the country also needed a longer-term ambition for the role of education in its wider recovery…. “The country's suffered a shock the like of which we haven't seen since the end of the Second World War “And that presents us with a unique moment to be able to think about what it is we need, in terms of determining what schools are for, what education is for and to fund the system we want rather than to keep looking back to the past.”… “I use the reference to funding levels in 2010 as a comparative point, and that's useful, as it gives us a measure of how much the country, or the government, is prepared to invest in schools comparatively to over a decade ago. “But that doesn't actually tell us much about what we really need in an increasingly complex and competitive world in which the UK increasingly stands alone.” “Simple looking back is too narrow. If you look at the increasing needs in mental health, the crisis in SEND funding, the increase in deprivation, it is clear that more is going to be needed to meet the government pronouncements about levelling up….


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