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Children: Social Services

Question for Department for Education

UIN 204479, tabled on 20 December 2018

To ask the Secretary of State for Education, if he will make a comparative assessment of the changes in the level of his Department's spending on children's services (a) in total and (b) per child in each year since 2009.

Answered on

9 January 2019

In the 2010 and 2015 Spending Reviews, the Department for Education’s total allocations were[1][2]:

2010 to 2011

2011 to 2012

2012 to 2013

2013 to 2014

2014 to 2015

2015 to 2016

2016 to 2017

2017 to 2018

2018 to 2019

2019 to 2020

£58.4 billion

£56.1 billion

£56.3 billion

£56.2 billion

£57.2 billion

£58.2 billion

£59.6 billion

£60.1 billion

£60.8 billion

£61.6 billion

Department allocations are not made on a per child basis.

As children’s services are delivered through local government, the vast majority of their funding comes through the local government finance settlement. However, as the responsibilities, structure and makeup of local authorities and the department have changed a great deal since 2009, central funding (department spend) to local government and wider spending power measures therefore are not directly comparable over this period.

Over the five-year period from 2015-2016 to 2019-2020, councils have access, through the local government settlement, to over £200 billion to deliver local services, including children’s services. This core spending power is not ring fenced and it is for local authorities to determine spend across different areas according to local priorities.

In addition to this, the Autumn Budget announced a further £410 million in 2019 to 2020 for local authorities to invest in adult and children’s social care services. It also announced £84 million of extra funding, over the next 5 years, to support local authorities to invest in initiatives that improve social work practice and decision making so that children can stay at home and with their family where it is in their best interest to do so.

[1] Totals include resource and capital departmental expenditure limits.

[2] Sources: