Jogo Behaviour Support Blog

Positive Behaviour and Education Services Supporting Children, Young People and Families

 

National Funding Formula Set to Change Thursday, 29 September 2016

 

Although the new Education Secretary Justine Greening has pushed back proposals to implement the new national funding formula to 2018-2019, it is still very much on the agenda. The aim of the policy is to see fairer funding across England, and to ensure pupils receive funding to match their needs.  For the 2017-18, schools will still be funded through the local formula set by their local authority. There has been reassurance that schools will not see a reduction in the schools or high needs block of the dedicated schools grant next year, and that the current minimum funding guarantee for schools will be retained in 2017-18.

The current funding is distributed to schools by the Local Authority (“LA”) area by using a local funding formula.  This gives different weights to different factors meaning there are variances in the amount of funding received per pupil by individual schools within a LA area.  In certain areas, some schools receive 50% more funding than others in similar situation.  The government says the new formula is needed to tackle uneven levels of funding across England, but there are concerns that while some schools will benefit others will not.

Former Education Secretary Nicky Morgan said: “The introduction of a national funding formula will see the biggest step towards fairer funding in over a decade – ensuring that pupils get funding that genuinely matches their need.”

The new national funding formula will remove the LA’s role in distributing funds between schools, they will however, remain involved in the distribution of “high needs” funding for pupils with special educational needs and disabilities.  The £40bn budget will be shared based on four main factors:

There are some concerns for areas that are currently well funded, such as London and other urban areas, that will potentially lose funding but at the moment it is unclear as to which areas will lose and who will gain under the new system as there has been no indication by the government as to how much weight will be placed on the above four factors.

The reaction to the proposal has been mixed but most welcome a more transparent distribution of funding. The Education Secretary Justine Greening has said she did not want to rush into changes without being sure of their ramifications. "There is a strong sense in the response to the first stage of the consultation that this is a once-in-a-generation opportunity for an historic change and that we must get our approach right."

She said she would publish a full response to the first stage of the schools and high needs consultations and set out proposals for the second stage in the autumn.

"We will run a full consultation, and make final decisions early in the new year," she said. Given the importance of consulting widely and fully with the sector and getting implementation right, the new system will apply from 2018/19

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