Councils want education services grant cut reversal

The Local Government Association (LGA) has urged the government to reverse the planned £600 million funding cut to the the education services grant.

The grant, paid to councils, allows them to work with schools to provide services such as speech therapy and plan provision in their areas, but is controversially set to end next year, as revealed in the government’s Education Excellence Everywhere white paper.

It also allows councils to plan ahead for more school places and run criminal checks before recruiting staff, with the LGA arguing that the proposed reduction in funding could have a serious negative effect on children's education.

Cllr Richard Watts, chair of the LGA’s children and young people board, said: “"Councils across the country are talking to their school forums right now, planning their budgets for next year and it is looking bleak.

“Councils’ track record of helping to improve schools with their local knowledge, expertise and democratic oversight cannot be ignored. With the majority of secondary schools now academies, Ofsted has also found that more work needs to be done to improve these schools, especially in northern parts of the country and in the Midlands.

“Councils are key to unlocking that improvement. Allowing them to intervene early and use their vast experience would help these schools to deliver the high quality education that all of our children deserve.”

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