This week in Parliament, Munira urged Ministers to find a solution to the deficit in Richmond Council’s finances as a result of providing support to local children and young people with special educational needs and disabilities (SEND).

The growing deficit has been putting the council’s wider finances and services at risk. Following Munira raising this in Parliament, the local Government Minister agreed to meet with her to discuss finding a solution.

Munira raises SEND funding situation in Parliament

Speaking in Parliament, Munira asked:

“In ensuring that children with special educational needs and disabilities have the provision that they need locally, the London Borough of Richmond is running a cumulative deficit of some £15 million in the high needs element of its dedicated schools budget, putting wider council finances and services at risk.

Will the Secretary of State agree to meet me, representatives of the council and the Department for Education to find a workable solution to this untenable situation? Our discussions with the DFE have proved fruitless so far.”

In response, Luke Hall, Minister for Regional Growth and Local Government, said:

“Of course she is right that the dedicated schools grant is administered by the DFE, which is responsible for its amount and allocation, but we are certainly working closely with the DFE, the Chartered Institute of Public Finance and Accountancy and the sector to understand what more can be done to mitigate the immediate risks.

I am personally very happy to meet her and her council to have a discussion about what more can be done.”