DfE mentions SEND at last while downplaying IFS damning report on spending

Janet Downs's picture

The media arm of the Department for Education has at last mentioned provision for special educational needs and disabilities (SEND).   Its latest blog contains one sentence.

This contrasts with four articles concerning universities and higher education in the six working days since the National Audit Office issued its critical report into SEND provision in England.   

The single sentence contained nothing new.  It repeated the promise that £700m extra would be provided for SEND.

The blog, headlined ‘Funding education’ was in response to the critical Institute for Fiscal Studies report into education spending in England.  Schools Week summarising the IFS finding as the extra money ‘will only just about cover the eight per cent cuts in spending per pupils since 2009’. 

Full Fact, in its coverage of the Conservative Party Facebook advertisement which appeared to alter a BBC headline and which has now been deactivated, also summarised the IFS findings.  Although ‘per pupil spending on schools in England is set to increase over the next three years’,  this will only return education spending ‘to roughly the level it was at in 2009/10.’

In other words, the much-hyped increase in funding for education in England will only return spending to levels last seen when Labour was in power.  It will only reverse ten years of cuts.

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