Commenting on a Public Accounts Committee (PAC) report which highlights areas of the country ‘hit hardest’ by the Department for Education’s changes to school funding, Kevin Courtney, joint general secretary of the National Education Union, said:  

"The operation of the National Funding Formula and Minimum Per Pupil Levels has actually redistributed money away from areas with more relative need. The NEU agrees that all schools need more money, but this should come by ‘lifting all boats’. The PAC report highlights that the Government is actually doing the reverse of levelling up. For all its talk, the actual practice of the Conservative Government seems to be channelling money from the worse off to the better off. 

"The Government acknowledged that there are shortfalls in High Needs funding in the 2019 Spending Round. Ultimately this funding is vastly insufficient given the scale of need. National Education Union analysis indicates that to address these shortfalls, the High Needs Block should be £2.5bn a year higher, assuming the 2021/22 number of EHCPs were funded at the 2015/16 rate. 

"The SEND review was due to have been published by June 2021. The reason for the delay is unknown, but the DfE should not attempt to change definitions of need in order to square the circle."