NOT only do Theresa May and her team appear to be in denial about the probable scale of next week’s rebellion over Brexit, but the Prime Minister’s defence of domestic policy masked the very real financial difficulties facing local councils.
The Government is now in so much paralysis that yesterday’s announcement on town hall funding levels for the 2019-20 financial year has now been put on hold until after the conclusion of the Brexit debate and, presumably, the vote’s fallout.
Even though English councils will again see their purse-strings tightened as they continue to pay a disproportionate price for the Tory party’s austerity agenda, local authorities are again denied the clarity that they require to plan key services, like education or care for the most vulnerable, for the next financial year, never mind the following decade.
This explains why more than 100 school leaders, teachers and governors from across the country will gather today for a special summit to examine – and debate – the crisis in funding for children with special educational needs.
A recent report by the NAHT teaching union showed that 94 per cent of schools are finding it harder to resource the support required to meet the needs of pupils with SEND than they did two years ago.
Concerns were highlighted in powerful Parliamentary speeches by Hull West MP Emma Hardy and Tory peer Margaret Eaton, who used to lead Bradford Council.It would help if Mrs May actually acknowledged such difficulties rather than remaining in denial about them, a response which does her, or the country, no favours whatsoever.