UNISON West Sussex workplace rep Keith Manville (Oak Grove College, Worthing) has been invited to become a member of the high needs block funding working group, a sub-group of the schools’ forum, of which Keith is also a member.
Keith is one of the very few people actually working within the high needs field to sit on the group, so uniquely placed to provide insight into group discussions on the impact of funding cuts in this sector.
“This is a rare opportunity for the union to directly influence decisions, to have an input and challenge any strategy that concentrates solely on looking for further efficiency measures resulting in staff cuts,” said Keith.
“Our voice has more impact in this smaller group as we can really question it, hold it to account and have early insight into the direction any proposals might be heading.
“For example, the County Council is looking to increase local therapy provision to reduce the costs of having to send high needs children outside the county (often to expensive private providers) to get the support they need. This is something I feel we should support if we wish to see a long-term improvement in the high needs block budget.”