Extra cash - deal agreed

PUBLISHED: 16:20 13 August 2008 | UPDATED: 22:10 15 June 2010

SPECIAL schools are set to get an extra £3 million over three years following a high level review. Following a change in funding, which was designed to give more support as the county council asked them to take on more work, some schools had warned of fin

SPECIAL schools are set to get an extra £3 million over three years following a high level review.Following a change in funding, which was designed to give more support as the county council asked them to take on more work, some schools had warned of financial difficulties.However, the review, which incorporated special school heads and county finance chiefs, recommended an extra £1 million a year on top of the changes that have already been made.Devon Education Forum, which consists of county heads, governors and parent representatives, had already agreed that £1.5 million should come from the overall school's budget over the next three years.This was followed by Devon County Council's executive committee agreeing to match fund the sum.The strategy has the backing of the children and young people's services overview and scrutiny committee, whose members welcomed the recommendations and said they were pleased extra resources were being found.Cherie White, chairman of Devon Special Heads' Association, said: "These are acceptable recommendations and we are more than happy with the support we have had from the local authority."John Smith, DCC deputy leader, who is also lead councillor for children's services, said: "I am delighted that we have been able to reach such a swift solution to this problem."We changed the funding system this year in order to give our special schools more money because we recognise the vital part they play in Devon's ability to educate all our children."We're asking them to do more work - for example by helping special needs pupils in our mainstream schools - and we're asking them to take on children with ever greater needs."However when they came to set their budgets for this current financial year, it was recognised that some were going to have difficulties."We immediately set up the review and I am glad we were able to reach a very positive solution. "You also have to set this in the context of the unfair way that all schools in Devon are funded by the Government. "We have slipped from 144th to 146th out of 149 education authorities this year. That means every pupil is funded at around £350 less than the national average.

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