NUT Conference 2017
16 April 2017
Commenting after the debate on Motion 36, Kevin Courtney, General Secretary of the National Union of Teachers, the largest teachers’ union, said:
“School funding per pupil is falling at its fastest rate since the 1970s. Support for students with special educational needs has been, or is expected to be, reduced in their schools. Many schools across the country already say they have insufficient funding and budgets to adequately provide for SEND pupils. “In special schools, small class sizes and highly qualified staff are effective at supporting young people. These children often have complex needs that demand specialist skills and attributes from the staff who work with them. The shortfall in school funding has, however, increased class sizes and reduced staffing significantly. This directly impacts on the standard of education that SEND pupils should be receiving.
“Successful alternative provision is ensuring appropriate group sizes and composition. For learners with SEN, a high staff-to-pupil ratio is often necessary. It is vital that special schools have the funding required to ensure that all children receive the education they deserve. This means that the schools must be well-resourced and staffed and it is imperative that class sizes are kept to manageable levels.
“The NUT will continue to campaign for keeping teaching assistants in mainstream and special school classes. In whatever settings children with SEND are educated, it is vital that sufficient funding is provided.”