Students, parents and teachers in Richmond upon Thames should know that Richmond Council is doing everything within its power to protect special needs education in the borough.
Despite ongoing and chronic Government underfunding of special needs education, the Council is committed to ensuring that the funding that is available is used in the most impactful and efficient way to enable all pupils to meet their full potential.
We are continuing to lobby the Government to provide more funding for SEN services in our borough including in responses to consultations, at meetings with Department for Education officials, and representations by the Council to the Secretary of State and meetings with local MPs.
The underfunding by Government of high needs education services is a well-recognised and escalating national issue and is not unique to Richmond upon Thames. In fact, the Local Government Association estimate that there is a £536m shortfall in funding nationally this year.
Cllr Robin Brown, Richmond Council’s Cabinet Member for Finance said:
“We want to make it very clear that the Council is on the side of our children, parents and schools in the battle to secure adequate funding for special needs education in this borough.
“From next year, the Government is requiring all boroughs who are spending more on education than is allowed for in the grant allocation to submit a three year Deficit Recovery Plan to the Department for Education.
“That means we are required to produce a plan, in consultation with service users and Schools Forum, that seeks to reach a more financially balanced position. I want to reiterate that the Council is committed to continuing to meet the needs of local pupils and will not produce a plan that means it is falling short in meeting its statutory duty.”
— from a Richmond Council press release - 7 February 2019