Alongside governing boards across the country, NGA is campaigning for the overall size of the schools budget to be increased to ensure that children and young people receive the standard of education they deserve. Here's how you can get involved:
Contact your MP
We encourage you to contact your MP to share your stories and examples of the impact of funding pressures on your school including the difficult decisions the governing board. You can:
You will of course want to tell the story of your school (or group of schools) in your own words but NGA has put together an example letter which you can use as a template or as inspiration.
Alternatively, set up a meeting with your MP by:
Inviting your MP to a governance-led visit of your school to demonstrate the impact of funding pressures
Arranging to meet at their constituency office to share your experiences
Sharing your correspondence, photos and the outcome of your conversations with NGA by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org or tweeting us @NGAmedia.
Download NGA guidance on how to meet with your MP to lobby for school funding
Tell us your story
To support NGA in evidencing the need for our nine asks, we are also looking for governing boards that are willing to speak publically about their story; particularly on the role of governance in school finance, the decisions they have had to take and what the impact has been on pupils. If your school/ trust is willing to explore this, please contact email@example.com.
If you would prefer to submit comments for us to use anonymously or write an ‘in my experience’ article about any aspect of school funding and the governing board’s role in finance, please complete this short form.
Key asks to the government
NGA has put together nine ‘asks’ for the spending review, based on the latest research and intelligence collected from governors and trustees. These are:
The core revenue budget must be increased by at least £2 billion per year so that the basic rate that schools get for each pupil covers the costs of their education
The high needs budget for pupils with special educational needs and disabilities must be increased by at least £1.5 billion per year
The rate for 16-19 pupils must be increased to at least £4,760 per year
The pupil premium funding must be protected in real terms and included in the national funding formula, with reporting requirements retained
The government must review funding for early years so that all children have access to high quality, teacher-led early education
The national funding formula must be implemented in full as soon as possible, with funding distributed directly to schools
Funding settlements should be for a minimum of three years to enable schools to properly plan their budgets
The government must make sufficient capital funding available to return all school buildings to satisfactory or better condition
Local authority funding of services for schools and children must be properly funded, as must children’s mental and physical health services, so that pupils come to school safe, well and equipped to learn
Funding the future - the story so far...
School governors and trustees are responsible for the financial oversight of their schools, which includes deciding how the budget is spent – and almost three quarters are telling us that they are unable to manage funding pressures without negatively impacting pupils’ education.
It’s clear to see why. The Institute of Fiscal Studies (IFS) has calculated that total school spending per pupil has fallen by 8% in real terms between 2009-10 and 2017-18. This is in part due to a 55% cut in local authority spending on services for schools and cuts of over 20% to sixth-form funding. Funding provided per pupil to primary and secondary schools has also been hit hard over the past few years, falling 4% since 2015.
We are working with governing boards up and down the country as well as unions, charities and parent groups to make the case for investment in schools.
The impact on schools
We know that governors and trustees have acute concerns about their schools’ budgets. In May and June 2018, 5,218 governors and trustees responded to NGA’s annual survey of school governors and trustees. The findings are a stark reflection of the depth of the current funding crisis:
only half of respondents’ schools were able to balance their income and expenditure, with almost a third drawing on reserves – of these, 75% expected that they would run out within two years
high needs funding is a big concern, with 74% of respondents saying that current funding is insufficient
there is significant pressure on early years provision in schools
at the other end of school life, funding pressures are increasingly impacting on sixth form curriculums
schools have already made significant cuts due to financial constraints, including to staff – and secondary schools have felt the biggest impact so far
all school types are feeling the impact of cuts to local authority services
crucially, just one in five respondents thought funding pressures could be managed without negative impact on the quality of education their schools provide
To explore the findings in more detail, click here.
Fair Funding for All Schools is a national network of parent activists around the country who are setting up independent parent-led groups attached to schools in their local area, campaigning for more funding for all schools across the country. They believe that it is really important to have an independent parent voice alongside those of governors and school leaders. If there are any parents at your school that may be interested in getting involved, they can find out more by contacting firstname.lastname@example.org or visiting the website at www.fairfundingforallschools.org and Twitter at @fairfundschools
What NGA is doing
NGA is engaged in a proactive campaign on behalf of its members, with the voices of governors and trustees at its centre. We are:
- raising your concerns about funding at every opportunity in our meetings with ministers, civil servants and other influencers
- raising the profile of the schools funding crisis in the national media
- working with partners to construct a better understanding of the minimum level of funding schools need
- maintaining a dialogue with government on the improvement and implementation of the national funding formula
- encouraging governors and trustees to take action