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Most serious chidren's services cases use half the budget.

Most serious chidren's services cases use half the budget.

Half of England's £8.6bn children's services budget is being spent on just 73,000 of the most serious cases - those in care, analysis reveals.

The rest of the money is spent on the remaining 11.7 million children, says the Institute for Fiscal Studies.

The children's commissioner said help reached many children too late, leading to more ending up in violent street gangs, in care or in the courts system.

The government said it was spending a record amount on education.

The report, Public Spending on Children in England: 2000 to 2020, commissioned by the children's commissioner, is published at a time when gang violence is in the spotlight after a wave of shootings and stabbings in London.

    

It said while public spending on children overall had been broadly maintained over the past 20 years, millions of vulnerable children were missing out.

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