Time is running out to have your say on the funding proposals relating to the Dedicated Schools Grant.

The Government allocates funds for Torbay through the issuing of the Dedicated Schools Grant which is split into three groups:

  1. Central Schools Funding Block - money passed to schools to deliver mainstream education.
  2. Higher Needs Funding Block – money used to support children with special educational needs that are taught in a mainstream school, support for children in alternative provision, special schools and excluded pupils.
  3. Early Years Funding Block - money used to provide 2, 3, 4 year old early years nursery entitlements.

The current level of spend on the Higher Needs Block exceeds that of which is provided. Torbay is not alone in this position; many local authorities across the country are facing pressure and predicting an over spend in their Higher Needs budget. However, Children and Young People with Special Educational Needs (SEN) require sufficient funds to ensure they are able to access learning both within mainstream schools and specialist schools and provisions.

The School Forum (a statutory body), which is made up of a representative group of school leaders, has worked with the Local Authority to produce a series of recommendations that would help to ensure that money is available to support the needs of our SEN pupils.

It is proposed that a proportion of additional funding which is expected from central government is allocated to meet the spend in the Higher Needs Block. This will restrict the amount of new funds that will be given to mainstream and grammar schools within the area on top of what they already receive. This only applies to new government funding, so mainstream and grammar schools in Torbay will not receive less funding than they are currently allocated.

Everyone is invited to have their say on the proposals through an online consultation at which can be found at www.torbay.gov.uk/consultation. The deadline for feedback is Wednesday 21 November.


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