Skip to main content

'Today’s Budget is a missed opportunity to invest in our children’s future.'


General Secretary of the AEP, Cath Lowther on why today's budget announcement does not address the escalating crisis in our education services.

"Today’s Budget is a missed opportunity to invest in our children’s future. 
In 2010, when this Government came to office, public spending on education was £120bn and on health was £118bn.
14 years on, the OBR report that education spending is now £131bn, representing a real terms cut, while health spending has more than doubled to £251bn.

We were disappointed to see that education was largely absent from today’s budget. While we support spending on healthcare, we need higher levels of investment in education. Educational psychologists see the impact of this underfunding every day - particularly in the loss of preventative services and in the challenges many children and families have in accessing the support they need.

Today’s budget seems to recognise part of the problem - in announcing £105m for 15 new ‘free schools’ that will be special schools. While this is welcome, these changes will take time to be established, and will have an inadequate and inconsistent effect on improving provision. These new schools are also an example of where - scarce - resources are targeted at upstream problems, rather than downstream, preventative solutions like inclusion and early intervention and support from specialists like educational psychologists.

Educational psychology services are at crisis level in many local authority areas. There has been a 283% increase in the demand for advice from educational psychologists to inform EHCPs and there are simply not enough educational psychologists available to do the work. This has created a vicious cycle, as educational psychologists are overwhelmed with statutory work on EHCPs and are not able to provide the early interventions that would help young people and, in many cases, prevent these needs escalating to a request for an EHCP.”

Enter a search term: