Paul Whiteman, general secretary of NAHT, which represents leaders in the majority of schools said: “The clear feedback from our members is that our most vulnerable pupils are being hit the hardest by our school funding crisis.
“The government must recognise the growing shortfall if we are to avoid these pupils missing out on the education that can allow them to realise their potential. Indeed, the final part of the Children in Need review says that the government should consider what more it can do to provide incentives for schools and equip and support practitioners to ‘realise the change we want to see’, so it is disappointing that they have not been able to do this now.now
“Schools play an incredibly important role in the safeguarding and support of children and young people. Aside from the police, schools are the main source of referrals to children’s social care; in the year to March 2017 18% of referrals to children’s social care came from schools. Both the proportion and absolute volume of referrals from schools has grown in recent years, with the number of referrals seeing a 34% increase between 2014 to 2017 alone. 
“There can be no expectation on any school to provide health and social care services funded from the school budget, unless additional secure funding is provided. Schools are struggling to deliver their core teaching function in the face of real terms budget cuts. They do not have the capacity to pick up the pieces for other services.
“School leaders report that one of the key barriers to improving educational outcomes for children in need is the decline in availability and accessibility of social care and health services for these children and their families.
“A school is most successful as a place of learning when it works within the context of high- quality social care, health and many other services who work together across boundaries to meet pupil’ needs. When those needs are properly met, pupils can engage better with their learning in school, and so education outcomes for those pupils can improve.
“Schools need specialist services to be available and accessible to offer the support and intervention from trained social care and health professionals that a wide range of pupils need.”
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