Today’s blog looks at the Condition Improvement Fund and high needs funding.
Condition Improvement Fund
Today, Monday 28 October, we have launched the Condition Improvement Fund (CIF) for 2020-21. This is an annual bidding round for academies and sixth-form colleges to apply for capital funding to maintain or improve their school estate. This has been covered by the Guardian, the Telegraph, the Times, the Mail and the Mirror, whilst the Education Secretary Gavin Williamson was also interviewed about the launch by Sky News, BBC Breakfast, Talk Radio and LBC, and Schools Minister Nick Gibb was interviewed on the Today programme, Good Morning Britain and 5 Live.
The 2020-21 CIF will make more than £400m available to schools and sixth-form colleges. We have strengthened the criteria to ensure that any academy trust applying for funding must not be identified as having excessive executive pay.
Education Secretary Gavin Williamson said:
This government is determined to give all children the best possible education, but as well as great teachers, we want all pupils to learn in classrooms that enable them to gain the knowledge and skills they need for success.
Following our huge investment in school funding with an increase of a total of £14 billion over three years, this year’s multi-million-pound fund will support our pledge to create more good school places and continue raising standards.
High Needs Funding
Today, the Guardian has published an editorial looking at the Education Select Committee report on funding and provision for children with special educational needs and disabilities (SEND).
Ofsted’s new inspection arrangements have a strong focus on provision and outcomes for pupils with SEND, setting an expectation that in a ‘good’ school all pupils, including those with SEND, benefit from a broad and ambitious curriculum and achieve the best possible outcomes.
A Department for Education spokesperson said:
No child should be held back from reaching their potential, including those with special educational needs.
That’s why we recently announced a £780 million increase to local authorities’ high needs funding, boosting the budget by 12% and bringing the total spent on supporting those with the most complex needs to over £7 billion for 2020-21.
This report recognises the improvements made to the system over five years ago were the right ones, and put families and children at the heart of the process. But through our review of these reforms, we are focused on making sure they work for every child, in every part of the country.