Justine Greening MP has just made a statement in the House of Commons on the future of school funding.
— DriverYouthTrust (@DriverTrust) July 17, 2017
The Education Secretary confirmed that the National Funding Formula will go ahead from 2018/19 but with an extra £1.3bn for the core school budget across the next two years. Greening stated that the overall school budget will rise to £42.4 in 18/19 and £43.5bn in 19/20, meaning that per-pupil funding is maintained in real-terms. This increase is shared across both core schools funding and the high needs block.
In regards to SEND funding, local authorities will continue to set a local formula to distribute that funding, and to determine individual schools’ budgets in 2018 19 and 2019-20, in consultation with schools in the area.
The Government intends to allow additional flexibility between the schools block and the high needs block. The details of this will emerge shortly in technical guidance published later this week. A lack of flexibility between the blocks has been a key concern of SEC, of which DYT is a member.
There will be no new funds from the Treasury, however, as Greening confirmed that the money will come from “efficiencies and savings” across the Department for Education. She is expected to use £280 million from the budget for new free schools and grammar schools and £42o million worth of the capital budget, including the healthy pupils programme.
Greening did not specify exactly where else cuts would lie but stated that the newly freed up funds would ensure a “world-class education for every single child.” Labour’s Angela Rayner said the funding would need to go much further to ensure per pupil funding did not fall.
The Institute for Fiscal Studies claims that due to inflation and rising pupil numbers schools would still has seen a real terms cut of 4.6 per cent between 2015 and 2019.
School funding was a key issue in the 2017 election, an analysis by polling company Survation suggested that about 750,000 votes could have been swung by the issue.
The full statement can be found here.