Tuesday, 27 June 2017

'New formula in funding will mean no school loses' > but: 'schools still face real terms, per pupil, reductions to their funding'

During the county elections, there was universal condemnation of central government's plans for funding schools in Devon:
Futures Forum: Devon County Council elections: the issues > school funding

Similar debate was had during the general election - but some thought that the schools themselves should not get involved:
Futures Forum: The general election in the West Country: the issues >>> education

The issues were once again raised on the front page of today's Mail:

Schools' bid to sway the election: Headteachers sent out letters attacking Tory policies during the campaign

> Families sent letters by headmasters 'trying to sway the general election'
> The messages came by post and social media and attacked Tory policies
> Letters sent to parents by heads of 3,000 UK schools across 14 counties
> Warned of 'dreadful' education funding despite election 'purdah' rules


PUBLISHED: 22:40, 26 June 2017

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Headmasters stand accused of trying to sway the general election by attacking Tory policies.

Families were sent a series of political messages – by post and on social media – in the run-up to the national vote on June 8. One warned of the ‘dreadful state’ of education funding under Theresa May. It was sent by heads from 3,000 schools across 14 counties.

Parents elsewhere were urged to sign a petition set up by the Left-wing National Union of Teachers.

Headteachers attacked Tory policies during election | Daily Mail Online

The Huffington Post posts a reply from a Labour MP:
If The Tories Don't Learn The Lessons Of Their Failure On Public Services, They're Finished | HuffPost UK

As covered by the EDW blog:
Just how much can you rip voters off before they reject you? | East Devon Watch

Devon teachers have responded in the WMN:
Devon headteachers angry after coming under fire for pre-election school funding campaign | Devon Live

Meanwhile, the Mail reports on how one school is dealing with things:
Leicestershire school to finish at lunchtime on Fridays | Daily Mail Online

It now seems, however, that there will be 'no cuts' after all:
Greening: No school cuts under funding formula | Schools Week

Ministers pledge no school will lose out under funding change

Justine Greening has said the Government will stand by its manifesto pledge to ensure no school loses out as a result of a new funding formula

Richard Vaughan4 hoursTuesday June 27th 2017

Ministers have committed to spending billions of pounds to ensure no school will lose money under planned changes to school funding policies. Justine Greening told MPs that she would stand by the Conservatives’ manifesto pledge that stated no school would be worse off as a result of introducing a new national funding formula.

Cuts to school funding was a major battleground during the general election, and was blamed for many parents turning their backs on the Conservatives.

Majority was cut

In Ms Greening’s own constituency of Putney, west London, schools were at risk of losing thousands as a result of the changes on top of wider cuts to their budgets. The MP saw her majority whittled down from more than 10,000 to just over 1,500 in the election.

Speaking in the Commons yesterday, the Education Secretary said the Government remained committed to rolling out the new formula, which aims to end the historic differences in per-pupil funding given to schools.

“As outlined in our manifesto we’re also going to make sure that no school has its budget cut as a result of the new formula,” Ms Greening said. “Now that the consultation is finished we’re going to explain our plans for the fair funding of schools shortly.”

May promises money

During a school visit in Bristol yesterday, Theresa May promised to put additional money into schools.

“There is extra money going into schools and there will continue to be extra funding going into schools and what we need to ensure is that we have a fair distribution of that funding,” the Prime Minister said.

Questions remain, however as to where the money will come from. The Tory manifesto pledged to spend £4bn over the next five years to protect schools from losing money under a new funding formula. But that money was to be taken, in large part, by scrapping free school meals for all five, six and seven year olds, a policy since abandoned following the Conservatives disastrous election result.

Still a real terms cut

Experts have warned that the extra £4bn would still lead to a real terms cut of around 3 per cent to school budgets due other cost pressures, such as increased national insurance and pension contributions.

Natalie Perera, director of think tank the Education Policy Institute said: “While the commitment that no school loses under the new formula will help to mitigate some losses, schools still face real terms, per pupil, reductions to their funding. Without additional funding, these pressures mean that schools budgets will have fallen by 7% in real terms between 2015/16 and 2021/22.”

Ministers pledge no school will lose out under funding change - The i newspaper online iNews

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