Education Secretary Justine Greening today announced the new school funding formula, opening the debate for 14 weeks for members of parliament and education professionals. The new school funding formula is a long overdue process by the government and has surprisingly gathered cross-party support.
Historically, school funding has been unfair and unbalanced with schools in Coventry for example, receiving £500 more per pupil than schools in Plymouth. Greening has proposed a fairer system that follows a consistent base rate for pupils across the country in both primary and secondary schools.
Greening went on to announce that £3bn will be provided to poorer families per year that will assist with mobility and free school dinners. This will also support the “just about managing” families. A further £2.4bn will be provided to assist students that are underperforming to help bring them to the standard of their peers.
Overall, Greening suggests that 10,000 schools will experience more funding, including a sparsity arrangement for underfunded rural schools. 3,000 schools will experience an uplift in funding by 3% or more per year and no local authority will see funding reduced.
Opposition to New Education Funding
Shadow Education Secretary Angela Raynor launched an attack on the formula, questioning how the government can pronounce this as a fairer arrangement when the National Audit Office reports the education budget being cut by 8%. Greening suggested that the thriving economy is able to bridge the gap monetarily.
The new formula will be introduced as a transition year in 2018/19 and will be fully introduced in 2019/20. Between now and March 2017 the discussion will be open to refine the funding formula and the government are calling on education professionals and members of parliament to bring their viewpoints to the table.