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(UK) N. Yorkshire Council asks to use REGULAR FUNDS FOR SPED

Nov 23, 2019, (UK) Hambleton Today: Mainstream schools budgets set to be top sliced to pay for high needs pupils North Yorkshire County Council looks set to ask the Government to allow it to “top slice” mainstream schools’ budgets to cover the spiralling costs of educating high needs pupils, despite mainstream headteachers saying the move would create issues. The authority’s leaders will consider the action after being warned the authority is facing a deficit on its special educational needs budget of £7m [$9M US] by April and up to another £6m [$7.7M] the following year…. In a consultation with the council, mainstream schools insisted their budgets were already overstretched and they could not afford to subsidise the high needs budget as they had agreed to in recent years…. Another headteacher stated school budgets were already sharing the financial impact of increased numbers of students with Education, Health and Care Plans. She added: “We acknowledge the pressure on the High Needs block, but believe that this should not be resolved by top slicing school budgets.” It states the recently announced 11.1 per cent high needs funding increase for 2020-21 amounted to about £5.4m extra, but the increase did not address the forecast budget pressures for the next financial year. The report states there has been a 68 per cent increase in students classed as having high needs since 2014 and continued growth was expected in 2020. It states: … He said: “While the high needs demand keeps increasing we are trying to contain it. We don’t want to be taking money off mainstream schools, but we don’t have much of a choice. “I appreciate their situation with tight budgets, but we are in a no-win situation having to address the special educational needs demand.”…


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