Member of Parliament for Central Suffolk and North Ipswich, Dr Dan Poulter, has urged the Government to level up education funding here in Suffolk, most notably Special Education Needs funding.
In a letter to the Secretary of State for Education, the Rt. Hon. Gavin Williamson, Dr Poulter has set out funding concerns from education leaders, schools and parents in his Central Suffolk and North Ipswich constituency and he has called upon the Secretary of State urgently review the situation.
Suffolk has historically been under-funded for education and that includes for SEND provision, and whilst recognising there has been some positive progress in closing the gap, the continued under-funding is placing considerable pressure on education providers across the county. Although work has now recommenced on the long-awaited SEND review, there is a pressing need to uplift Suffolk’s funding in line with its neighbouring counties.
Speaking about the issue, Dr Poulter said “I have recently been contacted by a number of parents and schools concerned about the disparity in SEND funding here in Suffolk, compared to our neighbouring counties. I share those concerns and I am growing increasingly concerned that without a meaningful injection of cash, many of Suffolk’s children risk losing out on their fair share.”
“We know that Suffolk is facing a substantial increase in the number of children and young people who are in need of additional support, yet rates for special school places in the county are significantly below those of its neighbours.”
“Suffolk children and Suffolk schools deserve better and at the very least, a level playing field. The current funding allocation is not right and nor is it fair and this is why I have written to the Secretary of State setting out the case for Suffolk and requesting that his Department levels up Suffolk’s SEND funding to secure a fairer future for our brilliant children and young people.”
The Tilian Partnership contains seven schools, one of which is Palgrave Primary School in Dr Poulter’s constituency and CEO of the Trust, Mr Andrew Berry said “I am delighted and encouraged that Dr Poulter is demonstrating his support for our children's education and well-being by highlighting the inequality that exists in funding between SEN funding in our county compared to other counties. By raising this issue with the Secretary of State, he is clearly stating the need for urgent action to resolve the underfunding of education in Suffolk."