“Outstanding” special school spared reduction in funding after council re-think

Cecily Haughton Special School has an Ofsted rating of “outstanding”.

STAFFORDSHIRE County Council has reversed its decision to cut funding to an “outstanding” special school in the Staffordshire Moorlands.
Cicely Haughton Special School, in Wetley Rocks, was facing a reduction in residential places for children from 33 to 25 and residential care dropped from four nights to three, if county education bosses had gone ahead with their cost-saving proposal.
The school, which recently received the highest rating of ‘oustanding’ from Ofsted inspectors, currently offers day and residential places for boys and girls with special needs, aged from five to 11.
There are presently 50 pupils on the roll call at the school with 33 residential.
A statement issued by Staffordshire County Council explained: “In 2018/19 the ‘High Needs Block’, which funds support for children with special needs and disabilities, was overspent by more than £5 million due to unprecedented high demand.
“But after appealing to the Secretaty of State for the Department of Education, the council now has received permission to transfer £2.4 million to the High Needs Block from the general schools budget.”
Mark Sutton, Staffordshire County Counil’s cabinet member for Children and Young People, said: “The overnight accommodation stays are provided over and above each child’s Education, Health and Care Plan (EHCP) and we know the service is valued by children and parents.
“Allowing the council to transfer the money between education budgets this way does not solve the pressure on the High Needs Block , but it does allow us to keep overnight educational stays at Cicely Haughton School at the same level for another year.
“We will be working with them in the coming months to look at the alternatives.”