It’s Not Complex: A Mini-blog

It’s Not Complex: A Mini-blog

It really isn’t.  Fixing famine in Africa is complex.  Understanding a school budget and notional funding should not be seen as/talked about as complex by those in a graduate professional with access to finance advice.

So please stop hiding behind poor information and a lack of transparency.  The unspoken message here is ‘we can’t do anything about it as it’s too complex and everyone agrees; so we have a great excuse not to even make inroads into the problem’.

Please work to find small ways forward, help us to improve things, we want to work with you….

We know there are inadequate funds.  We know that teaching is demanding and that there are all sorts of bureaucratic processes that are unnecessary and obstruct good quality teaching and demoralise & exhaust staff.  We know that the notional budget is a poor way of allocating resources and that it provides perverse incentives:

  • Drive out your SEN children and you loose nothing and keep the budget.
  • Look after your SEN children and you overspend AND attract more of them to your school, which will NOT be funded under the notional system of funding for SEN.

We get this.  It isn’t complex, it’s, well… add your own word here…. mine was a very uneducated ‘crap’.

Please help by being more transparent; most of us are decent human beings and can be very reasonable in the face of honesty and integrity.  Can you help by:

  • Publishing the money you have for SEN and where this is spent.  If has been diverted to other areas say so and explain why.  Be brave.  Be willing to account for and stand by the financial decisions you are making.  Isn’t that a key part of Governance?
  • Properly evaluate our children’s barriers to learning.  State honestly what the provision they need to overcome these will cost.  Provision that enables them to have the same chances to achieve their best as their peers will do.  They don’t need ‘gold standard’ they need ‘equal chances to succeed’ and to have their mental health preserved.
  • When you can’t meet our child’s needs then 1) SAY SO!  Give us the evidence of what they need and 2) be willing to work with us to secure the funding so that their needs can be met.
  • Where your notional budget is based on 200 children with a normal distribution of SEN and you have 250 – and a more dependent distribution, then work it out, publish the facts: SAY SO.

Information is a valuable asset you can access.  Without information to properly quantify the current nightmares within which you are expected to work then I imagine little will change.

I take issue with ‘it’s complex’, ‘it’s because of funding’.  Repeating these phrases as though they are fact obstruct progress.  They enable unhelpful practice to continue unchallenged whilst exhausted parents and teachers take the brunt, and children’s self-esteem crumbles.

Finally, please know that we value what is free more than anything.  Open communication, being believed and thoughtful accommodations that demonstrate to us and our children that you understand, are priceless.  

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