Parliamentary success for f40 and the DTW team in a busy Westminster week

Photo of the F40 team and David Davis MP in Westminster

It’s been a busy but highly productive week for DTW and the great team at our client f40 after we played a role in two important events in Westminster in our campaign for better funding and resources for special educational needs and disabilities (SEND). 

On Tuesday this week, f40 – a local authority campaign group for fairer and increased funding for education – made up of 42 of the lowest funded councils – was invited to present to an All-Party Parliamentary Group on SEND in Westminster about the importance of early intervention in supporting children who require extra help. 

All too often, help and diagnosis arrives too late for children, meaning they require even greater support later on and are unable to easily catch up with their peers when problems first arise. Failing to fund or resource it properly is, therefore, a false economy. 

Then, on Thursday, f40 was instrumental in supporting Sir David Davis MP to secure a debate in the main chamber of the House of Commons on the crisis in SEND funding and provision.

Extraordinarily well attended and lasting three hours, some 27 MPs spoke passionately about the crisis in SEND, before Shadow Education Minister Helen Hayes addressed the Commons, and then Children and Families Minister David Johnston MP responded. 

The result – Members unanimously agreed that Government should review funding and provision for SEND. 

We will have to wait and see what outcomes develop in the Spring budget and beyond, but it certainly hammered home to Government how cross-party MPs from right across the country believe we are not doing enough to support children and families dealing with SEND, or schools and local authorities trying to provide vital assistance. 

Increasing demand for SEND support and huge inflationary pressures since 2015 has resulted in a cumulative local authority High Needs (SEND) deficit of £2.3bn across England, which is expected to rise to £3.6bn by March 2025. That is money already spent by local authorities on SEND that they don’t have. 

Government has increased SEND funding in recent years, but it is still not enough to meet the exponential growth in costs. Unless action is taken now to deal with the crisis, it will simply get worse. 

The public affairs support we provide to the f40 group is all in a day’s work for DTW. However, achieving results in public affairs takes time, effort and an understanding of parliamentary process and the key players you need to engage with.  Securing such an important debate in the House of Commons during such a busy parliamentary week was a great result for Sir David, f40 and the DTW team.  

As we head towards a General Election, parliamentary campaigning is taking on an even more crucial role as Government and the various parties grapple with the big issues that are important to voters. 

f40 wants 2024 to be the year when significant additional funding and change are delivered so that our most vulnerable members of society get the right level of support, in the right setting, at the right time.

DTW is proud to be part of the team delivering the campaign.