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Schools National Funding Formula

Commenting on the Education Secretary’s statement to the Commons on the new schools national funding formula,

Kevin Courtney, Joint General Secretary of the National Education Union, said:

“Justine Greening has failed schools, pupils and parents in her announcement today.

“The Government has been promising ‘fairer funding’ for years but has instead been cutting schools’ funding per pupil in real terms. This has resulted in larger class sizes, a reduced curriculum, fewer teachers, resources and materials. This clearly is detrimental to children and young people’s education.

“In anticipation of this announcement, the NEU and other education unions set Justine Greening five tests.  She has failed every one of them:

•             School cuts have not been reversed.  This announcement means that the vast majority of schools will have less money per pupil next year and in 2020 than when this Government took office in 2015.

•             There is no new money.  These plans are still based on taking money from other areas of education spending and making unrealistic assumptions about ‘efficiency savings’ which hard-pressed schools cannot achieve.

•             High needs, early years and post-16 education are not being fairly funded.  These areas have suffered the biggest cuts – but she has said nothing about early years and post-16 funding and the funding increases promised for high needs pupils are well below inflation.

•             She has made no long term funding commitment.  Schools need to be able to plan for the future.  Instead of announcing and guaranteeing funding for at least the next five years, she has not even confirmed the limited extra funding promised in the manifesto.

•             Historic underfunding will not be addressed.  Schools in historically underfunded areas may receive some extra money, but it will not be enough to protect them against inflation and other cost increases – and it is being taken away from other schools which will now lose even more.

“The NEU and other unions will be updating our School Cuts website over the next few days, in order that parents can see the full impact of these proposals on every school.  We are also working with parent groups to organise a lobby of Parliament on Tuesday 24 October which will allow parents and others to show MPs the extent of opposition to these proposals.

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