An influential academy leader has lobbied the Treasury to put more money into the 3Rs in primary schools in disadvantaged areas.
Dame Rachel de Souza, who leads the Norfolk-based Inspiration Trust, attended a roundtable with chief secretary to the Treasury Liz Truss this morning.
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It discussed education funding in the run-up to the government spending review, which is expected to decide how much money Whitehall departments get for up to three years.
Treasury roundtable on how we should deploy resources to improve people's opportunities to live a good life. #education #work #family #spendingreviewroundtable @Rachel_deSouza pic.twitter.com/5mUtyZ55U1— Liz Truss (@trussliz) May 9, 2019
Tweeting after the meeting, Dame Rachel said: "Invigorating debate & big minds but my money would go on Reading, Writing & Maths teaching & standards in Primary Schools in challenging areas every time."
The meeting was also attended by Luke Tryl, a former advisor to former education secretary Nicky Morgan, and the current director of the free-schools organisation the New Schools Network.
In his own tweet, Mr Tryl said: "Lots of different ideas on where best to invest to boost life chances. But total agreement on importance of making sure children master the 3Rs in primary."
Excellent round table ‘Opportunity & aspiration’ with Chief Sec to the Treasury @trussliz at Cabinet Office this morning. Invigorating debate & big minds but my money would go on Reading, Writing & Maths teaching & standards in Primary Schools in challenging areas every time— Dame Rachel de Souza (@Rachel_deSouza) May 9, 2019
Ms Truss, who is a former minister at the Department for Education, liked Mr Tryl's tweet.
Enjoyed giving @theNSN perspective to Treasury Roundtable on “Opportunity and Aspiration” hosted by @trussliz this morning. Lots of different ideas on where best to invest to boost life chances. But total agreement on importance of making sure children master the 3Rs in primary.— Luke Tryl (@LukeTryl) May 9, 2019
Last night, Ms Truss told a Local Government Association debate on the spending review that high-needs SEND funding would be a priority.
“We recognise that more funding is needed in special educational needs and children’s services, and I am looking at that in the spending review,” she said.
“Councils are spending more money on that, but I don’t want to see that squeezing the schools’ budget because we see that schools are under pressure.
“Those children with special educational needs are a real priority in the spending review.”
Earlier this year, the Association of School and College Leaders calculated that schools need an extra £5.7 billion to be able to give every child the education that “society expects and children deserve".
The Treasury advised against reading anything into Ms Truss liking Mr Tryl's tweet. A spokesperson said the Treasury would not pre-empt the spending review.