Happy new year! I am optimistic that 2022 can be and will be a good year for our town. One positive thing that will be happening is a significant increase in funding for education this year. As a school governor myself, I know how school budgets can be tight and of course the last couple of years have been tough for all education settings during the pandemic.
I am therefore very pleased to see that children and young people across the country will benefit from an additional £4 billion rise in funding for schools this year, that will help to improve education and level up opportunity for all. This is part of the Prime Minister’s commitment when he entered office to level up school funding by pledging over £14bn in primary and secondary education by 2022/3.
This funding includes an extra very welcome £1 billion for pupils with special educational needs and disabilities which represents an unprecedented 13% increase compared to 2021. This will help schools, local authorities and other providers provide better care and support for pupils with special educational needs and disabilities.
Overall, this means every local authority area is forecast to see a cash terms increase of at least 4.7% per pupil in its mainstream school funding, alongside the high needs funding increases. This will help support every young person to catch up following the disruption caused by the pandemic.
I know the term ahead, especially the first half up to the February half-term, is likely to be difficult for schools to manage as the latest Covid wave peaks. Schools, teachers and staff will need our support and understanding, recognising that it has already been difficult during the autumn term. I do understand the frustration of parents if their child can’t attend school.
Recognising the pressures that teachers having to self-isolate creates, the government put out a call last month for retired and former teachers to help out by returning to supply teaching. There has been a good response to this request and we can expect to see an increase in supply teachers in the weeks ahead.
Councillor Duncan Crow, Leader of Crawley Borough Council Conservative Group
5th January 2022