The Government’s commitment to ensure that no school is worse off as a result of the national funding formula, and subsequent reassurance for a fair funding arrangement for all school in the Queen’s Speech, is positive. More details are needed so that councils can get on with necessary budget planning. Schools should also be given greater certainty of future funding, to help them better plan for the spending pressures they face. Three-year budgets should replace annual budgets.
- A national formula to ensure fairness between schools in different areas is welcome, but an element of local flexibility must be retained in the implementation of this policy.
- Government proposals published before the General Election mean that the budgets of 22,000 schools will be set in Whitehall, with no possibility that schools and councils can agree a slightly different allocation to reflect local needs and circumstances.
- Schools should also be given greater certainty of future funding, with three-year budgets, to help them plan for the spending pressures they face.
- It was disappointing that the Queen’s Speech did not give schools and councils any detail about how much additional funding will be committed to education or how the Government’s school funding reforms will be implemented. If there are to be changes for 2018/19, schools will need certainty about their future funding by the autumn at the latest, to ensure no schools lose out.