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Use funds for students’ welfare, parents urge

PARENTS want extra school funding to be spent on child mental health services and support for youngsters with special needs, according to a poll.

Alongside funding for textbooks, laboratory equipment and technology, parents also prioritise investing in children’s happiness and wellbeing, the annual Parentkind survey suggests.

The charity also found that parents have increasing concerns around school-related costs such as the price of uniforms, dinners and trips.

And it indicates that many are still being asked to support schools financially, through giving cash donations, providing essentials like toilet roll and even helping out with maintenance.

John Jolly, chief executive of Parentkind, said: “It’s interesting to see parents are embracing a wide set of priorities beyond academic attainment, calling for more investment in learning resources, child mental health and SEN services — particularly among those eligible for free school meals — and for improving buildings and maintenance.

“These are critical to a positive learning environment without which we are failing our children.”

Earlier this month, ministers announced plans to pump an extra £7.1 billion into schools in England, saying that schools that have been underfunded will get the biggest increases.

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