New funding to support children with SEND – Friday 21 December 2018

In the final week of this term I report on new funding to help local authorities support pupils with SEND, the launch of a £9 million Government programme to deliver holiday clubs for pupils eligible for free school meals during the summer break next year and the publication of a new guide for governing bodies from the NGA on careers guidance.

New funding to support children with special educational needs
The Education Secretary Damien Hinds has announced extra funding to help local councils support pupils with SEND. LAs will receive an extra £125 million this year and a further £125 million in 2019/2020 to top up high needs budgets for maintained schools and academies.

The Government has been under increasing pressure over the lack of funding available to schools for supporting pupils with SEND. Mr Hinds said: “We recognise that the high needs budget faces significant pressures and this additional investment will help local councils to manage those pressures, whilst being able to invest to provide more support.”

The Government has also confirmed an expansion of the funding to train more educational psychologists, who are responsible for assessing children’s needs and providing tailored support as part of the Education, Health and Care needs assessment process.

Extra support for disadvantaged children during school holidays
This morning the Children and Families Minister Nadhim Zahawi has confirmed that more disadvantaged children will benefit from free meals and activities during the school holidays, under a £9 million Government programme.

Organisations from across the country have been invited to bid for a share of the multi-million-pound Government investment to deliver holiday clubs for pupils eligible for free school meals during the 2019 summer break.

The scheme follows a successful £2 million programme in the summer of 2018, which saw charities and community groups provide meals and activities such as football, play sessions and cooking classes for more than 18,000 children across the country.

Launch of NGA Careers guidance: the role of the governing board
The National Governance Association has written a new guide for governing boards on careers guidance with support from the Careers & Enterprise Company, the Gatsby Foundation and Education & Employers.

The new guide sets out the duties of the governing boards of primary and secondary schools in the context of the broader aims of the government’s careers strategy, alongside the key resources, sources of information and data to consider when monitoring the provision and quality of careers guidance.