Bromley Council has been told it can’t move schools’ cash to support struggling special educational needs as it warned the Government that the current budget is not good enough.

Bromley, like much the rest of the country, is experiencing huge demand on services supporting school kids with special educational needs.

To pump more cash into SEN budgets, the council wanted to transfer £1m from the mainstream schools block, on top of a planned £2m influx from the authority.

The council approached the secretary of state about the transfer, sparking a backlash from primary school heads in Bromley who penned a letter criticising the move.

The letter reads: “Whilst we recognise the importance of funding the high needs provision, removing £1m funding from mainstream schools is so short-sighted because it will reduce the capacity of schools to be able to support children with needs and therefore further increase the number of children likely to need support from high needs providers .

“Headteachers in Bromley primary schools have been lobbying the council about this issue, though there appears to be little impact from this.”

Councillor Peter Fortune, cabinet member for education, said he expected the proposal to be turned down – instead wanting to send a message to Government that budgets were too tight.

Cllr Fortune shared a letter reading: “We believe more money is needed. We therefore asked the secretary of state to allow us to transfer funding from the schools block to the high needs block.

“We did not expect to be granted permission for this transfer. However, we felt strongly that we should take every opportunity to make the case to Government that our funding allocation is simply not enough.

“As anticipated, the disapplication has not been granted.

“Bromley Council is committed to good educational provision for our children with special needs.

“We recognise that they are some of the most vulnerable children in the borough and we are working hard to make the best provision we can to support them, their families and their schools.

“We have sent a clear message that the high needs funding is not enough. We will continue to lobby Government tirelessly for more funding for Bromley children.”

A recent survey led by London Councils and the Local Government Association highlighted the high-needs cost pressures and the £537m funding shortfall nationally.

In nearby Bexley, the council has proposed a transfer of £898k to support a big surge in children needing education health plans.