The extra money to create additional school places and state-of-the-art facilities will see every council in England receive at least £115,000, with more than half of the nation’s local authorities being provided with more than £225,000.
However, a recent investigation by The Yorkshire Post reveals the limits of this supposed largesse. Headteachers in Hull have written to the Government to warn that they are at breaking point over their ability to meet the needs of the most vulnerable children following cuts to funding for services from teaching resources to transport.
Meanwhile in North Yorkshire, savings of over £700,000 need to be found in areas including early-years services, residential funding and special-needs support in mainstream schools.
Following the Department for Education announcement of the new money, the Local Government Association has welcomed the news whilst reiterating that an urgent review of funding for such services is still required to meet an unprecedented rise in demand for support from children with special needs and ensure children do not miss out on a mainstream education which could be vital to their opportunities in later life.
It is heartening the Government has started to recognise there is a problem and that parents of all children simply want their child to be able to attend a good local school that meets their needs.
But it is equally clear that this announcement must be seen as a starting point rather than a permanent solution.