The controversial Tory re-working of the formulas for calculating school funding in England* were first announced before the 2017 general election.
The mainstay of this policy is the National Funding Formula (NFF) which is to be used to calculate funding allocations to every school according to qualifying criteria.
Whilst the rationale was to establish a country-wide level playing field in terms of funding like-for-like schools, the creation of winners and losers was inevitable. The situation is only exacerbated by the reduction in value of the overall budget, leading to some school budgets taking a double hit.
This plan prompted an immediate backlash which has been justly emboldened by the damning election result for the Tories. Education Secretary Justine Greening has had her hand forced. She has tried to quell the outrage by diverting money from other area’s of the education budget, and proposing additional short-term measures intended to soften the blow.
- A cap on the limit of reduction suffered by any one school.
- Grant of some flexibility for Local Authorities to adjust settlements (probably) according to the loudest out-cry and local political expediency.
Robbing Peter to pay Paul
The redistribution from within wider education spending can only come from reduced capital expenditure and caps on ancillary budgets. This merely kicks the can down the road and stores-up problems for the future.
In the meantime, the IFS has calculated that the newly revised DoE school’s budget will amount to a freeze on spending in real terms, and contribute to the overall reduction of education spending between 2015 and 2020 of 4.6%
Impact on schools in the Thornbury and Yate constituency
See the full analysis of all schools in the Thornbury and Yate constituency here.
*education in Scotland, Northern Ireland, and Wales is devolved to their respective assemblies.