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Media release from the Association of School and College Leaders

Schools short-changed by new funding formula proposals

Monday 16 January 2017

 

Schools are in danger of being short-changed by the government’s proposed overhaul of funding, the Association of School and College Leaders (ASCL) warned today. (Monday 16 January 2017)

 

ASCL fully supports the introduction of a new funding formula to address long-standing problems about huge variations in funding levels in different areas of England. However, it is concerned that the formula proposed by the government sets the basic level of funding too low. An increase in school funding is needed, and it is needed now.

 

The proposed funding formula consists of basic per-pupil funding, plus additional allocations for factors such as deprivation and low prior attainment.

 

The basic per-pupil funding would be £2,712 for primary-age children, £3,797 for 11-14 year olds, and £4,312 for 14-16 year olds.

 

ASCL Interim General Secretary Malcolm Trobe said: “We are concerned that the basic funding level will be too low and that schools will be short-changed by the new formula.

 

“Some schools in poorly funded areas which are already struggling to make ends meet will see no uplift in their finances. In some cases they may even see reduced budgets.*

 

“Of course, we need to give schools more money to tackle deprivation and low prior attainment. That is essential. But the basic level of funding has to be right for all schools to enable them to put teachers in front of classes.

 

“The problem is that school funding per pupil has now been frozen for many years in most areas of the country. Costs have risen significantly and are continuing to do so. The government is trying to slice up a cake which is too small. It needs to put more money into the system and make education a political priority.”

 

*For example, Cheshire East and Trafford, both in the lowest 10 funded areas in 2016-17, are projected to lose under the new formula: Cheshire East - minus 2.1%; Trafford - minus 0.4%.

 

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