School Funding Statement – Fairer funding consultation

13/03/2014

David Laws, the Minister of State for Schools, today, in a statement to Parliament, announced that an extra £350m would be given to the lowest funded local authorities in the 15-16 financial year. 

What has been announced is some extra money for the ‘least fairly funded authorities’, which should not be confused with those currently receiving the least amount of money per pupil. 62 of the 153 local authorities would gain from the proposal, subject to consultation: for the list of local authorities and the likely level of their gain, click here. The DfE consultation document is clear that no school or authority will receive less money as a result of this proposal.

Despite earlier assurances from the Government that, as the school funding system was unfair and not fit for purpose, a National Funding Formula would be introduced before the next Parliament. The minister’s statement confirms that this will not now be happening before the General Election.

Emma Knights, Chief Executive of the National Governors’ Association, welcomed the additional funding:  “School funding is not currently allocated in the best way possible and, as a result, schools in certain parts of the country will struggle to meet the perfectly valid increased costs of pay and pensions.

"Governing bodies and boards of academy trustees have the responsibility of ensuring school finances are managed well, and those who will benefit from this additional funding will no doubt breathe a small sigh of relief.  NGA too, welcomes the extra £350million for schools in some of the most pressed local authorities, but urges the Government to undertake more fundamental reform to ensure every pupil gets a fair share of public funding.”
 
The consultation document is available here: Fairer funding consultation.

The consultation will run until 30 April. The NGA will be responding to the consultation and any NGA members are welcome to send views to NGA’s Policy Manager Gillian Allcroft.

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