What are the changes to funding for special schools for the 2016/17 academic year?

What are the changes to funding for special schools for the 2016/17 academic year?

What are the changes to funding for special schools for the 2016/17 academic year?


Phil Ward (SEN Lead) who chaired the Lyndale School consultation meetings
Phil Ward (SEN Lead) who chaired the Lyndale School consultation meetings

A report that went to last night’s Wirral Schools Forum about funding for special schools makes for interesting reading. The report’s based on the operational guide (schools revenue funding 2016 to 2017) published in July 2015.

Those with long memories will remember that the reason given for closing Lyndale School by Wirral Council officers was that funding for special schools would change starting in the 2016-17 academic year. Officers confidently stated that instead of funding being based on place numbers it would instead be based on how many pupils were at a school. In their view this meant that Lyndale School not being financially viable as the large (and increasing) difference between pupils and places at Lyndale School would result in a shortfall in funding.

A report to yesterday’s Wirral Schools Forum states (EFA stands for Education Funding Agency) “In respect of High Needs Funding (funding for special schools, bases, non-maintained special schools, independent special schools, alternative provision, EMAP and the Hospital School) the EFA have indicated the allocation for place funding and other high needs funding will remain at the same level as 2015-16.

This was confirmed in the operational guide which states in a section on high needs funding starting on page 30, “The full year 2016 to 2017 allocation will therefore be based on the 2015 to 2016 academic year place numbers, and for the remainder of the high needs allocation there will be no change to what was allocated for 2015 to 2016.

More detailed reports about the changes for special schools funding were published in September.

Sadly this news arrives too late to make any difference to the Cabinet decision to close Lyndale School at the end of the 2015/16 academic year.

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Author: John Brace

New media journalist from Birkenhead, England who writes about Wirral Council. Published and promoted by John Brace, 134 Boundary Road, Bidston, CH43 7PH. Printed by UK Webhosting Ltd t/a Tsohost, 113-114 Buckingham Avenue, Slough, Berkshire, England, SL1 4PF.

6 thoughts on “What are the changes to funding for special schools for the 2016/17 academic year?”

  1. G’day John

    The local rubbish propaganda sheet seems to be giving the old Wirralgate buffoon a lot of good news.

    MP reveals full timetable for ensuring Birkenhead children do not go hungry in half-term holiday

    Is he about to retire?



    Some might say he did years ago.

    One can only hope.

    1. Many of Frank Field’s constituents in Birkenhead (I live in Birkenhead so I’m one of them) are going through hard times. Many this winter will have to face hard choices like choosing between eating or heating. Apologies here if I am sounding like a politician… but I think some of this requires a rather longer explanation than a quick reply and sound bites.

      The universal infant free school meals (which provides free school meals to all aged between four and seven years) only runs during school term time and not in the holidays. Next week is a one week half-term holiday so the young children will not be getting their free school meals at school.

      The Rt Hon Frank Field MP is Chair of the Birkenhead Constituency Committee which is funding the free meals for children you’re referring to (in other words the source of the funds for this is the taxpayer through Wirral Council).

      However, just as the rise of foodbanks in this country, such programs are addressing the symptoms of poverty in Birkenhead and not its underlying causes.

      On a side note the Rt Hon Frank Field MP has written much on the social issues surrounding poverty.

      Please bear in mind, I’m not stating that the symptoms of poverty shouldn’t be addressed. It just makes more sense to tackle the underlying causes rather than a short term fix.

      However I will state what I think most people in Birkenhead realise (at least if they paid attention growing up) and bear in mind I was born here. However I realise you not from Birkenhead so apologies if this comes across as a mini history lesson or restating matters you know already.

      Years ago, there were industries locally such as the docks and shipbuilding which required thousands and thousands of manual unskilled workers.

      However over time matters such as unloading and loading ships became less dependant on manual labour as to give one example instead of being based on pulleys and ropes cranes were used. One crane operator could do a job that previously required more people. Merseyside’s population used to be much higher which meant Liverpool and the surrounding docks were much more thriving as there was a greater demand for imported goods.

      Times changed, ships started going to other ports (for a variety of reasons such as requiring deeper channels), goods were unloaded straight from ships to lorries or trains and a lot of people in manual labour were made unemployed.

      There are recent developments such as the dredging of the River Mersey and the Liverpool 2 Deep Water In River Post Panamax Container Terminal at Seaforth that are trying to address matters such as attracting more shipping.

      However the downside to such developments are matters such as an increased flood risk to New Brighton… so everything has a potential downside eh?

      This was the situation in the 1980s. It is now 2015 and children grow up knowing that we’re not in the 1970s era of full employment where they could leave school and have 8+ job offers. There are families where multiple generations have not had work because there aren’t the jobs. Or the jobs that are low paid manual labour, many local people don’t want to do that sort of work as it’s not in their economic interests to take on low paid work and with the government proposing cuts to the tax credits system who can blame them?

      Ultimately this leads to people coming from abroad and doing the jobs employers can’t recruit locals to do. I welcome the increased ethnic diversity that brings (I’m married to someone who was born in a foreign land), but ultimately it can lead to bigotry and nastiness in society such as racist attacks on foreigners.

      There is a massive poverty problem in Birkenhead which is linked to one big elephant in the room jobs. Feeding children in the school holidays (admirable though that is) shouldn’t be needed in one of the richest nations in the world. Their parents should be able to have the resources to do this themselves.

      It’s just dealing with the symptoms and not the underlying causes of poverty.

      To deal with the latter, you’d need massive programmes to find the unemployed and underemployed work.

      Anyway rant over. You may already understand these matters James, but I thought it best to put them on the public record.

      In the decades I have been alive on the Wirral, sadly Birkenhead’s politicians have never been able to grasp the nettle which is providing lots of jobs. It would probably require inward investment from elsewhere (which comes back to your long running issue about how taxpayer funds to encourage businesses are spent).

      Wirral Waters was supposed to be part of that, but sadly for rather mysterious reasons after a lot of taxpayer support doesn’t seem to be going ahead as previously scheduled or planned.

  2. G’day John

    I fully understand having grown up on the Wirral in the fifties and sixties.

    I don’t mind them trying to get business but what I really don’t like is the people they send to China, Reno, Fantasy Island who just take a female colleague and the piss.

    A turd polisher John for God’s sake on how much a day?



    Bobby please take over I am starting to steam over the £2,000,000.00 Wirral “Funny” Biz helped themselves to courtesy of Invest Wirral and scooted off on their zimmers.

    They are the most improved…………………..

    I can tell from your rant John you are passionate about keeping these, incompetent, inept, egomaniacs in check.

    What good have they done.

    Oh they set up “The Chamber Pot” to aid and abet their games and holidays.

    Keep it up.

    1. One day I will reinstitute the annual health checks (being management here I’ve vetoed such matters).

      After all, I would would predict that I would get a report back saying:

      (a) your blood pressure is too high
      (b) you need to avoid stress.

      It’s hard to be passionate about local politics and do the job I do as a journalist, without a certain level of stress though isn’t it?

      There’s a high level of burnout amongst political journalists though. As to keeping those with power in check, well isn’t that the role of the press to speak truth to power and act as some sort of watchdog? Or is that an old fashioned view to take?

      Yes I could spend a career earning far more money just writing stories based on press releases, writing about video games, but seriously if I didn’t do the sort of political journalism I do, would it actually happen?

      I don’t think it would!!!

  3. G’day John

    Keep doing what you are doing John for the good of Wirral.

    I believe the next few months will see a clean out of some more of the slurry at Wirral.

    If I was “Phil the Very Deluded Dill’s Ugly Twin Brother with the Comb Over from Hell” I would be keeping my bald bonce very low.

    The audacity of them displaying and parading their filth.

    It doesn’t fool anyone.




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