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All areas of education need more money, Nick Gibb admits

Schools minister says that there are particular issues around post-16 and high-needs SEND funding

Ministers Nick Gibb and Anne Milton appear before the Commons Education Select Committee

All areas of education need more money, schools minister Nick Gibb admitted today.

Appearing in front of the Commons Education Select Committee, Mr Gibb (pictured) was asked which elements of the education system should be prioritised for more funding.

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Mr Gibb said there were particular issues with post-16 and high-needs funding but all areas were important.

“I think all elements need to be prioritised,” Mr Gibb told the committee.

SEND funding pressure

“But there is a particular issue regarding post-16 because that was not an area that we were able to protect in 2010 in either of the spending review periods.

"If you take the period 2010-2015, we protected core school funding in real terms per pupil and we are committed to protecting real-term per-pupil funding for 2018-19 and 2019-20 – but we do understand the challenges schools are facing, so school funding is a priority.”

He added that there were also concerns about high-needs funding for special educational needs and disability (SEND).

“There are a whole range of issues which have put pressure on local authorities,” Mr Gibb said. “One of which is the fact we are extending education for children with special educational needs not just to 19 but to 25.”

He added that the DfE was looking into the reasons for pressures on high-needs funding. "That is also a priority,” he said.

His comments come a day after more than 1,000 local authority councillors signed a letter urging the government to increase school funding.

In the letter, 1,115 councillors said the funding crisis has resulted in growing budget deficits, cuts in teaching staff, reductions in some subject areas and poorer education.

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