Alison O'Sullivan, currently ADCS vice-president said that local authorities could work more collaboratively with schools in order to deliver early intervention services.
Councils should do more to help schools deliver pastoral services in a bid to better join up local support and provide greater value for money when council budgets are being scaled back. "Schools haven't just pupil premium [money] but other funding, and many schools are doing collaborative things looking at what they [children] might need,"
She revealed the findings of an ADCS survey of DCSs' planned expenditure for 2014/15. According to the findings, the projected overall children's services spend will be £61m less than 2013/14 levels. Children's centres look set to take the biggest hit with a planned spending reduction of £108m over the next year and spending on services for young people are set to be cut by £90.7m. DCSs also expect to cut their spending on safeguarding services by £14m. However, the reductions are partly offset by a planned increase of £108.3 in spending on looked-after children.
"The big cuts are still to come because, actually if you are remodelling things, you don't do it in one year so actually these are the tip of the iceberg. To justify retaining spending and investment in early intervention we have to be able to describe the impact. We do need to develop the modelling of that in terms of describing outcomes and the financial impact of those outcomes, and that's going to be key for the future."