As we continue to drive progress within education after the shock of the last few years, the UK government’s spring budget 2023 has been eagerly anticipated. Overall, it was reported that there has been little financial gifting to the education sector however there are a number of important measures that will affect the education sector in particular, which we will discuss in this blog!
Firstly, the government has pledged to invest £2.5 billion into the education system over the next three years. This will be used to fund new school buildings and refurbishments, as well as improving training opportunities. The aim is to ensure that all children have access to a high-quality education, regardless of their background or location.
The government has also pledged to provide additional funding to support mental health services in schools. This is particularly important given the impact that the pandemic has had on children’s mental health. The funding will be used to train more mental health professionals, as well as providing additional resources to schools to help them support their students’ mental wellbeing.
To further support young people with Special Educational Needs and Disabilities into employment, the Department for Education will invest an additional £3 million over the next two years to pilot an expansion of its Supported Internships programme. This is with the hope of encouraging more young people entitled to Special Educational Needs (SEND) support who do not currently have an Education Health and Care Plan make the transition into adult life.
The Government has also committed to extending the Alternative Provision Specialist Taskforce pilot, which will continue to provide support to vulnerable children in alternative provision settings, to improve their engagement with education (including attendance, behaviour and wellbeing) and reduce their vulnerability to serious violence. This is especially important, given recent attendance data showing a jump in school absence since before the pandemic. Hence this programme will be crucial in providing this much needed support
Finally, the government has pledged to continue providing free school meals to all primary school children. This is an important measure that will ensure that children are well-fed and able to concentrate in class, regardless of their family’s financial situation.
Overall, the spring budget 2023 is a positive step for the education sector in the UK. The additional funding for schools, further education, mental health services, and tutoring will all help to ensure that children receive a high-quality education and the support they need to succeed. However, it remains to be seen how effectively these measures will be implemented and whether they will have the desired impact on children’s outcomes.
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