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Concerns raised about school funding plans

Serious concerns about school funding proposals are being raised with the government

Proposed national school funding changes do not work for Leicestershire, the county council is set to tell the government.  

The council says too many schools would see a reduction in funding and that primaries in particular would lose out, and raises concerns in a response to a Department for Education (DfE) consultation. 

 

As a low-funded authority, we expected that these changes would improve our position. But, given the emphasis placed on funding targeted at deprivation and places where English is spoken as a second language, that is not the case.

We’ve raised our views with local MPs and I’ve campaigned with the F40 group of low-funded councils for years, for a fairer system.

We remain concerned that at a time when schools are having to save money, the financial implications of the new formula for our schools are serious.

 

The consultation response will be discussed by the council’s Children and Families Scrutiny Committee next Monday (6 March) and Cabinet next Friday (10 March). 

Currently local authorities set their own funding arrangements for schools but the DfE is planning to bring in one formula.

An initial assessment says that 146 primary schools stand to lose funding, with only 75 gaining – while 48 secondary schools could gain and five lose. Overall, 151 Leicestershire schools could lose out and 123 gain.

Concerns raised in the consultation response include:

•        reducing the £150,000 lump sum paid to each school to £110,000
•        a lack of evidence underpinning the new proposed costs
•        a disproportionate emphasis on funding targeted at deprivation and where English is spoken as an additional language

The council also has concerns about a new funding formula for the ‘high needs grant’ which meets the educational needs of children and young people with special educational needs and disabilities – under further DfE proposals, Leicestershire could see a reduction of funding of £3 million.

You can watch both meetings live, or see a recording available from the next day.

 

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