The government has announced the final decisions on the national funding formula for schools and high needs, which will come into effect from April 2018.
The aim of the formula is to balance out current funding arrangements and account for the current ‘unfairness’ within the system. In places such as Plymouth, which has suffered a history of losing out the better off rural areas, this is welcome but well overdue news.
Speaking following the announcement, Mr Mercer, said:
“The announcement from central government follows months of detailed work. I have personally met with the Schools Minister several times in the intervening period and hosted him at a Plymouth school in December last year making the case for Plymouth schools.
“Sadly but understandably, there has been a fair amount of opposition to these proposals from areas who have traditionally benefitted under the old formula. More surprising, however, is the opposition from Plymouth Labour. When presented with an increase in funding for Plymouth schools, they chose to play games with a policy aimed to tackle historic imbalances, just like previous Labour governments who have chosen to ignore this.
“Regardless of what has gone before, I am pleased to see the government follow through on these proposals and confirm their implementation next year.
“More than that, I am delighted that every school in my constituency will benefit, with one seeing a 12.3% increase if the NFF is fully implemented.”
In a statement to the House of Commons, Education Secretary, Justine Greening, said:
“…as we proposed in December, we will distribute that funding more fairly, in line with the best available evidence. We will use a broad measure of deprivation to include all of those who are likely to need extra help. And we will increase the proportion of additional needs spending allocated on the basis of low prior attainment, to give additional support to those who may not be economically deprived but who still need help to catch up. I can also confirm today that, as we proposed in December, the national funding formula will allocate a lump sum of £110,000 for every school.”
The NFF will provide funding gains for schools across England, allocating:
- an increase in the basic amount allocated for every pupil;
- a minimum per pupil funding level for both secondaries and primaries to target the lowest funded schools;
- a minimum cash increase for every school of one per cent per pupil by 2019-20, with the most underfunded schools seeing rises of three per cent per pupil in 2018-19 and 2019-20
- a £110,000 lump sum for every school to help with fixed costs, and an additional £26million to rural and isolated schools to help them manage their unique challenges
Notes to Editors: