School funding announcement


On Wednesday 26 June the Chancellor of the Exchequer, George Osborne, confirmed during the comprehensive spending review for 2015-16 that school revenue funding will remain protected in real terms in 2015-16, and the overall budget for the Department for Education (DfE) will increase to £53bn.

The capital budget will be set at £4.6bn in 2015-16, with £21bn of investment over the next Parliament.  It is intended that this will be used to tackle the maintenance of existing schools and enable 180 new free schools to be built, along with 20 new University Technical Colleges and 20 new Studio Schools. Furthermore the pupil premium will be protected in real terms.

The NGA thinks that capital funding should be prioritised on providing new school places where there is genuine need and refurbishing those schools in the worst condition.

 On a less positive note the Education Services Grant is to be cut by £200m which will almost certainly have a further impact on the services local authorities are able to provide.

The Chancellor also confirmed the government’s intention to introduce  a new national funding formula for schools from 2015-16.  A consultation will take place later this year to determine what the formula will look like.  The government accepted some time ago that the current methodology for distributing funds to local authorities is neither objective nor transparent.  A new national formula will address these issues, although it will still be the case that someone will be at the bottom of the funding distribution curve – at least they will ‘hopefully’ have the advantage of knowing why! The Chancellor’s speech and the spending review are published here: