Dan Poulter asks minister for more money for Suffolk schools

Dan Poulter at Palgrave School

Dr Dan Poulter during a pre-pandemic visit to Palgrave Primary School. - Credit: Office of Dr Dan Poulter

Suffolk MP Dr Dan Poulter has called on the government to improved SEND provision in schools in his Central Suffolk and North Ipswich constituency.

Dr Poulter has written to Education Secretary Gavin Williamson after hearing concerns about special needs education from teachers and parents in his constituency.

His letter sets out funding concerns from education leaders, and he calls for Mr Williamson to urgently review the situation.

Dr Poulter said Suffolk has historically been under-funded for education and that includes for SEND provision, and while recognising there has been some positive progress in closing the gap, the continued under-funding is placing considerable pressure on education providers across the county.

Although work has now restarted on the SEND review, he said there was a pressing need to lift Suffolk’s funding in line with its neighbouring counties.

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He said: “I have recently been contacted by a number of parents and schools concerned about the disparity in SEND funding here in Suffolk, compared to our neighbouring counties.

"I share those concerns and I am growing increasingly concerned that without a meaningful injection of cash, many of Suffolk’s children risk losing out on their fair share.

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“We know that Suffolk is facing a substantial increase in the number of children and young people who are in need of additional support, yet rates for special school places in the county are significantly below those of its neighbours.

“Suffolk children and Suffolk schools deserve better and at the very least, a level playing field. The current funding allocation is not right and nor is it fair and this is why I have written to the Secretary of State setting out the case for Suffolk.”

The Tilian Partnership contains seven schools, one of which is Palgrave Primary School in Dr Poulter’s constituency and CEO of the Trust, Andrew Berry said “I am delighted and encouraged that Dr Poulter is demonstrating his support for our children's education and well-being by highlighting the inequality that exists in funding between SEN funding in our county compared to other counties.

"By raising this issue with the Secretary of State, he is clearly stating the need for urgent action to resolve the underfunding of education in Suffolk."

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