Soaring demand to protect vulnerable children at risk of harm has seen spending to provide support increase by almost a quarter in five years, with an upcoming national care review a “once-in-a-generation” opportunity to set out long-awaited reform, councils are warning today.
"Childhood obesity is one of the greatest public health challenges we face, and as these alarming findings show, has been made all the more difficult by the detrimental impact of the pandemic on children’s physical activity."
"It is good the Government has acted on our call for councils to be allowed to establish their own multi-academy trusts. This recognises the important role of councils as education partners and enables maintained schools to continue enjoying a close working relationship with their council."
"We are looking to the Queen’s Speech for government to bring forward legislation to ensure all children, including those with special educational needs and disabilities who are more likely to be excluded from school, can benefit from being in full-time education."
“Despite the best of intentions, the current system is not working, and we are pleased government has set out reforms to address this. They will only succeed if parents and carers have confidence in the system."
“Councils have a crucial role to play in education, from ensuring every child has a school place to turning around struggling schools, and as they showed when providing vital support to schools during the pandemic."
More than a million additional school children could receive free school meals and be entitled to extra support funding if the sign-up process for the scheme was simplified and extended to more families.
“It is vital the Government’s SEND review urgently tackles the increasingly adversarial nature of the SEND system since the 2014 reforms and minimises the need for legal disputes and tribunal hearings, providing the support that every young person and their family needs."
“We urge the Independent Review of Children’s Social Care to consider these recommendations in their final report and are keen to work with the Government to ensure that children can live in the homes that best suit their needs and where they can thrive.”