Headteachers’ leader Geoff Barton has voiced fears that pupils with special educational needs and disabilities (SEND) will see provision cut back unless the government significantly increases school funding.
Speaking in a Facebook interview with Tes reporter John Roberts, the general secretary of the Association of School and College Leaders (ASCL) warned that schools were faced with making “invidious cuts” because of funding pressures.
He also outlined the case for creating a more inclusive accountability system and questioned why a third of pupils were allowed to leave school without qualifications.
Geoff Barton, general secretary of the Association of School and College Leaders, talks to Tes reporter John Roberts at the union’s annual conference in BirminghamPosted by Tes on Saturday, 16 March 2019
ASCL has produced a report saying schools need an extra £5.7 billion to be able to deliver the education society expects.
When asked what would happen if school funding did not increase by this amount, Mr Barton said: “In the last conversation I had with a head here about this, he said, ‘I need to find a way of losing £100,000 for the governors next week and there is only one way I can do it and that is I am going to have to further reduce the entitlement of special needs children, because I have to have a teacher in front of every class.
"'The only people I don’t have to have', although this is an invidious thing for him to have to say, 'is some of the teaching assistants’.
“So once again we see people we know can make a real impact on youngsters, more impact than teachers make in some cases in my experience, but they will become collateral damage. If we aren’t properly funded then you won’t get what society expects.”