Today Surrey County Council (SCC) can announce that the Department for Education (DfE) has agreed to plans to ensure a sustainable funding solution to the council’s budget for children with additional needs.
DfE will contribute a further £100m towards Surrey’s budget for children with additional needs, which will ensure Surrey’s plans for these services are better funded for the next five years.
In recent years central government funding to provide services for children with additional needs has not covered the costs the council incurs. In order to manage the financial risk of this growing deficit the council has built up an offsetting reserve, which means the funds cannot be spent on other vital priorities.
SCC is hopeful that this agreement with the DfE will mean that the budget provided for these services will now be sufficient to meet the requirements of children with additional needs.
Commenting on the announcement of new funding, SCC council leader Cllr Tim Oliver said:
“This is excellent news for SCC, our children, young people and their families across Surrey and for our efforts to ensure no one is left behind. It will ensure that they can remain confident that they will continue to be able to access first-rate services, while the council will be able to go ahead with its plans knowing they are financially sustainable. We are now looking forward to working closely with the whole sector to ensure the money is focussed into the areas where it is needed the most.”
Also commenting, Cllr Denise Turner-Stewart, SCC’s cabinet member for education and learning, said:
“I am delighted for all our children, young people and families and everyone we work closely with to deliver these services, that this funding has been announced. It will mean a real difference to the lives of thousands of our residents, and that we can help them, and their loved ones live they lives they want to.
This, along with other recent announcements about children’s services in Surrey, demonstrates that we really are delivering on our promises to the people of this county. This money will help SCC and partners to better support children and young people with additional needs, and to sustain this support for future generations.”
SCC already works extremely hard to get the best value for money for children and parents through strengthening inclusion practice in schools and other settings, building new specialist facilities and supporting young people to prepare for adulthood.
Recent deficits are a result of increases in the number of children and young people in need of additional support, as well as rising costs associated with these services which have not been matched by the grant received.
This is not a sustainable way to continue funding these vital services, and so SCC has been in talks with DfE to address this deficit, which has led to the announcement of this additional funding.
Following agreement of this new package of financial support with DfE, SCC will be able to fully implement its existing plans for the local high needs system, meet the needs of children and reduce the financial deficit.
Notes to editors
The formal notice from the Department for Education can be found here: