Last week I met with the National Education Union who were able to provide me with figures that showed the UK Government had cut funding to Wales by £59million since 2015.
The Secretary of State completely fails to understand the impact of his government’s decisions for Wales. His response underpinned my point. The cuts from the UK Government to Wales has resulted in lower per pupil funding.
When I met with the National Education Union they told me that 42% of schools in Delyn have suffered UK Government cuts to per pupil funding since 2015. This has resulted in an annual funding shortfall from 2015/16 – 2018/19 of £704,782.
The UK Government commenced a consultation of the use of restraint against a child in November 2017. The consultation closed in January 2018. We are now been waiting nearly a year and a half for a government response. I wanted to know when this response would be published.
The consultation was launched for noble reasons. It was to produce new guidance on reducing the need for restraint and restrictive intervention for children and young people with learning disabilities, autistic spectrum disorder and mental health needs.
The consultation is sought views on how well this draft guidance helps a range of settings and services to support children recognised as being at higher risk of restraint. The guidance will apply to health and care settings and special educational settings.
The Minister’s response was deeply disappointing. Glibly saying ‘soon’ is not good enough. We have a duty to care for the most vulnerable in our society and this means action as well as words. A new guidance is needed and more can kicking from the UK Government helps no one.
The Welsh Assembly has been leading the way on free childcare in the UK. But as a constituency that is on the Wales/England border there are a number of people who either work in the childcare sector in England or send there children there. This results in them having to use the English system.
Nearly 200,000 children in Britain have already fallen behind by the age of five, while one children’s centre closes a week The only way to improve life chances is to secure a well funded childcare system.
I asked the Minister what recent assessment he had made on the roll-out of 30 hours free childcare. You can see he wasn’t able to provide a decent answer and I fear more children’s centres in England will continue to struggle and parents won’t be able to get the childcare they need.