Local Authority warns of cuts to children's services

In February this year we wrote about cuts to local authority budgets and the consequences for children’s services. You can read the story here.

With cuts to budgets from central government it is no surprise that cuts to local authority budgets is in the news again. East Sussex has been warning of cuts over the past few months. It has now warned that it will have to make cuts amounting to £81m from its budget over the next three years. This equates to 20% of its entire budget.

Council leader, Keith Glazier, has said that the biggest 70% of what the council spends is on adult and children’s services,”so there will be big savings, or cuts needed in those areas…Let’s make no bones about this…we will have to stop doing services”.

The budget will be decided in February 2016 and implemented from May 2016.

How will these affect children’s services and, in particular, children and young people with special educational needs?

One of the biggest problems facing families with children with special educational needs is the constant battle with local authorities for funding of additional support. Families in East Sussex will not be the only ones facing this difficulty.

The announced cuts come at a time when local authorities must transition all Statements of Special Educational Needs to Education, Health and Care Plans by April 2018. As part of that process, local authorities must, in most cases, carry out an Education, Health and Care needs assessment. With each assessment reportedly costing the local authority around £2000, it is no wonder that some authorities are taking short cuts and not meeting their obligations.

Read the story here.

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