Island MP Bob Seely has received written confirmation that Island schools will receive a significant increase in funding for pupils with special educational needs and disabilities (SEND).
At the same time, Bob has been able to confirm that rumours suggesting school SEND budgets were to be hit by changes to funding arrangements are false.
The confirmation came in a letter from Children and Families Minister, Vicky Ford, which followed a Westminster Hall debate held by Bob on SEND on the Isle of Wight last month.
During the debate, Bob asked the Minister whether the rumour was true that the first £10,000 of costs for SEND provision would need to be found from schools’ budgets. In her letter, the Minister confirmed: “I would like to assure you by being clear that this is not a change that we are currently planning to implement.”
The Minister went on to say: “Mainstream schools on the Isle of Wight will attract 3.9% more per pupil in 2021, which is an additional £3.5 million in total cash funding.
“The local authority will also receive £16.25 million in funding for those with complex special educational needs, £1.2 million more than they are receiving this year.
Welcoming the news Bob said: “Headteachers across the Island have been telling me that schools have been historically underfunded, and I’m delighted that the Government is taking steps to address this.
“We want to be able to give our children the best possible start in life and that starts with a good education. Schools have been doing their best under often difficult circumstances and I’m delighted that this additional funding will start to reduce the pressure they have been under.
“The additional support to help with provision for children with SEND will also ensure that those children get the support they need to thrive at school.
“I am very pleased that not only do we have this confirmation of additional funding, we have also put pay to an untrue rumour that had also been causing concern.”