The Education Select Committee has announced an inquiry “to inform the Department for Education’s bid for funding for schools and colleges, and to consider whether a longer-term vision needs to be taken of education funding in England.” The process will “determine the overall level of public funding for schools and colleges” and will consider “the effectiveness of targeted funding such as the pupil premium and how the new national funding formula will be implemented”.
Gillian Allcroft, deputy chief executive at the National Governance Association said “Governors and trustees have acute concerns about their school's budget, with a majority of those governing telling us that they cannot manage funding pressures without adversely impacting the quality of education for pupils in their school. Increasingly, members are raising concerns about the level of the high needs budget that funds our most vulnerable pupils with Special Educational Needs and Disabilities, and the impact restrictions are having on the support on offer for these pupils.
“NGA welcomes the Education Select Committee’s inquiry into education funding as a positive step in addressing these concerns and urges governing boards to respond to the inquiry, share their experiences and build the evidence base for the need for a long-term investment in education funding.
“Alongside our partners across the education sector, NGA has long campaigned for an increase to the overall amount of funding for schools and sixth-forms to improve the provision of education to children and young people. Without an increase in school funding, we – and the school governing boards who decide how funding is spent – are increasingly concerned about the sustainability of schools and their ability to offer what should be core services to their pupils.”
Funding the Future is NGA’s campaign calling for the overall size of the schools budget to be increased to improve the provision of education to children and young people. In 2017, NGA received over 5,300 responses to the annual school governance survey and found funding to be the biggest challenge reported by governors and trustees. Just 20% respondents told us they are confident they can manage funding pressures without adversely affecting the quality of education for pupils in their school. In NGA’s membership survey 2017, school funding was the top issue that our members wanted us to lobby government on.
To balance their budgets, governors and trustees are already having to take serious action: 47% have already reduced the number of support staff; 40% have reduced spending on building and maintenance; and 30% have already reduced the number of teaching staff, according to the annual school governance survey 2017. These are stark decisions for people who volunteered to improve education for children. You can read the full findings of 2017 NGA/TES survey here.
Written submissions to the inquiry on the following issues are invited:
What the Department for Education’s priorities should be for the next Spending Review period as they relate to schools and colleges
Whether the spending review cycle is the best mechanism for determining overall expenditure on schools and colleges, and what that level should be The effectiveness of targeted funding such as the pupil premium, and its relationship to core education funding
The practical implementation of the national funding formula
Closing date: Wednesday 30 May 2018