Spending on children's services to rise by 5.5%

Planned expenditure for children's services increases at greater percentage than planned spend for schools

Published on 1st October 2018

Local authorities' planned expenditure for children's services in 2018-19 is growing at a faster rate than planned spending on schools.

While children's and young people's services, which includes youth justice, planned expenditure is increasing by 5.5 per cent, schools budgets are rising by 3.7 per cent from 2017-18.

Demand for children's services is increasing rapidly. Local Government Association figures show that the number of children subject to child protection enquiries has increased 151 per cent in 10 years - from 73,800 in 2006/07 to 185,450 in 2016/17. Over the same period, the number of children on child protection plans increased by more than 23,000.

The total number of looked after children reached a new high of 72,670 in 2016/17. This equals 90 children coming into care every day, and represents the biggest annual rise of children in care in seven years.

The planned expenditure on schools, education and children’s services by local authorities in England in 2018-19 figures shows that the total planned  spend by  local  authorities on schools,  education  and  children  and young people’s services for 2018-19 is £55.7 billion, a nominal increase of £2.0 billion or 3.7 per cent from the 2017-18 planned spend.

The planned schools budget nominally rose by £2.0 billion or 3.7 per cent since 2017-18. There was a larger increase for children’s and young people’s services including youth justice which rose by 5.5 per cent. The other education and community budget rose by 1.4 per cent.

The schools budget, which is £44.3 billion in 2018-19, accounts for 80 per cent of planned expenditure overall. Looked after children  spend is £4.2 billion and accounts for 7  per  cent, safeguarding children and young people’s services is £2.2 billon and represents 4 per cent of the total budget while family  support  services is allocated  £1.1 billion representing 2  per cent of the budget.

The children  looked  after sub-category has the largest increase in planned spend, from £3.8 bn in 2016-17 to £4.2 bn in 2017-18.

Planned LA and school expenditure: 2018 to 2019 financial year

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