Spending plans must not ignore children, government told

More than 120 children’s organisations have united to urge the government to stop “ignoring children” and to put them at the heart of spending plans. They have written to the prime minister and the chancellor, asking them to recognise that support services are “at breaking point”. The BBC reports

Representatives of those working in health, education, social care, poverty and disability backed the letter.

The coalition has timed its impassioned plea to coincide with the chancellor’s Budget preparations and comes just weeks after Theresa May declared the end of austerity was in sight.

Head teachers and council leaders have long campaigned for extra investment as their budgets for education and children’s services have faced a double whammy from rising costs and spiralling demand.

The letter says: “We are writing to you because there is compelling evidence that the services and support that children and young people rely on are at breaking point.

“We believe this is because children and young people are being ignored in the government’s spending plans.”

It asserts that:

  • A total of 90 children are being taken into care every day – a record high
  • Fewer than a third of children and young people with a diagnosable mental health problem will get access to NHS-funded treatment this year
  • Only three in 100 families of disabled children think the health and care services available to their children are adequate
  • Almost three-quarters of school leaders expect they will be unable to balance their budgets in the next financial year
  • The number of children with special educational needs who are awaiting suitable provision has more than doubled since 2010
  • Up to three million children are at risk of going hungry during school holidays

Alison Garnham, of the Child Poverty Action Group, said: “Big social security cuts are pulling more and more of our children under the official poverty line, so nine children in every class of 30 are living under the official poverty line.”

Read the full article Spending plans must not ignore children, government told

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