Penalised for inclusivity - Stroud schools which welcome all children are being financially hit by government funding plans
"The long summer holiday looms ahead, but for headteachers across Stroud any thoughts of a relaxed break are being marred by a financial headache.
I’ve been speaking to headteachers across Stroud, in primary, secondary and special schools, and the clear message from them all is that making ends meet to provide the basic curriculum is, increasingly, a struggle.
The government’s new National Funding Formula is about to be rolled out across schools, yet any claims that it is ‘fair’ are undermined by the lack of proper funding for children with special educational needs and disabilities (SEND).
Schools are, quite simply, having to use core funding to finance any extra support to help children with additional needs to fulfil their potential.
They are faced with harsh choices, trying to work out how to provide support for children with SEND, without affecting the quality of provision for all children.
Quite simply the lack of funding, which forces schools to use their core budget to cover the cost of SEND provision, is financially penalising schools which try to provide an inclusive environment and welcome children with a range of needs and abilities.
This lack of funding not only affects children with SEND, but all children at inclusive schools.
Diversity should be valued by schools, as something which enriches the educational experience for all children. Every child deserves a properly funded education, regardless of need yet the fact that the new National Funding Formula is actively discriminating against inclusion, is nothing less than immoral.
This is why I raised this directly with the Prime Minister last week, and was disappointed that she failed to address the specific issue of underfunding for SEND and special schools. I will continue to seek to tackle school funding inequality.
In the meantime, I wish all our teachers, as well as children and their parents a well-deserved break."
David Drew MP