Council Concern Over National Funding Formula

Northumberland County Council’s has joined scores of local authorities in writing to the Prime Minister expressing concerns over the proposed Schools National Funding Formula

The changes planned for education could affect the way small schools are run, funded and supported.

The 38 representatives of the f40 group - a group who represent the lowest funded education authorities in England - have warned that the government's proposed formula "seems to be weighted more towards maintaining stability than achieving fairness".

At present the local authority provides funding for all schools which are not academies.  From September 2017, school funding will be determined by the national funding formula for all schools. Local Authorities will continue to distribute funding for two years and then it will be directly allocated to schools from 2019-20.

 The f40 group wants more local flexibility for councils to decide how to allocate money to schools in their areas.

 Grant Davey, Leader of Northumberland County Council, said: “Delivering the best possible education is a priority for us and we have been working closely with small schools ahead of the funding formula being issued.

 “Our concern, and the concern of other local authorities, is that the changes impact adversely on the opportunities for young people.  Small schools are clearly vulnerable, and face the biggest funding squeeze.

 “Our joint letter to the Prime Minister highlights that >schools in lower-funded areas have reached the limit of where cuts can be made and we cannot understand where more cuts could be made in the lowest-funded authorities.”

The government's consultation on the funding formula ends on 22 March.
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