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Planned expenditure on looked-after children set to rise by £0.4 bn

Planned expenditure on schools, education and children’s services by local authorities in England in 2018-19 shows that the planned spend on looked-after children is £4.2 billion.

The figures show 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.

As in previous years, the majority of local authorities’ planned spend is on the schools budget, which is £44.3 billion in 2018-19, accounting for 80 per cent of planned expenditure overall.

The rest of the budget is allocated as follows:

- Looked after children - £4.2 billion (7 per cent)

- Education and community at £2.6 billion (5 per cent)

- Safeguarding children and young people’s services at £2.2 billon (4 per cent)

- Family support services at £1.1 billion (2 per cent).

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.

Children’s and Young People’s Services, including Youth Justice covers a range of services such as looked after children, children and young people’s safety, Sure Start children’s centres and other spending on children under 5, youth services and family support services.

There has been a nominal rise in the planned spending by local authorities children’s and young people’s services. Planned expenditure in this area has increased by £0.5bn from £8.4 bn to £8.8bn – a 5.5 per cent increase between 2017-18 and 2018-19.

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.

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