SCHOOL funding in Warrington per pupil will increase this coming year.

But only approximately 0.25 per cent of the £213million budget will be allocated to special education needs support.

Department for Education figures show Warrington schools will have an average budget of £5,108 per pupil in the new 2023-24 academic year.

This will be an increase of 5.5 per cent on the previous academic year.

Out of the Warrington school budget, £522,000 has been allocated to SEND services. This includes services for visual, hearing, and physical impairment, specific learning difficulties such as speech, language and communication, as well as severe learning difficulties and autism.

Joe Hallgarten, CEO of the Centre for Education and Youth said: “While many regional disparities in school spending need exploring and addressing, it is more urgent to ensure that those schools whose pupils face multiple disadvantages including poverty are provided with greater resources to recruit the best teachers and offer other support for their young people.

“Although local authority spending on SEND and inclusion is rising, resources are simply not keeping up with the growth in need and demand.

“Our whole system for supporting pupils with SEND and those who are at risk of exclusion needs serious, short- and long-term reform.”

The planned expenditure on SEND services for schools in England has increased by 5.9 per cent to £588 million this academic year.

Another £7 million of the towns allocated budget will go towards funding for high needs places, which enables those who due to exclusion, illness, or other reasons, cannot receive their education in mainstream schools, to fully participate in education and learning.

Julia Harnden, funding specialist at the Association of School and College Leaders, said: “While school funding will increase by around 6.8 per cent in 2023-24, this is against a background of very high inflation – which peaked at 11.1 per cent last October on the Consumer Price Index measure – and cuts to real-term per-pupil funding of 9 per cent between 2010 and 2019.”