NASS launch our first Campaign
"Fair Funding for Small Schools"
Worried Heads and governors have contacted NASS with concerns about funding for 2013-14. The DfE’s strategy, now extended to 2014, reflects Ministers’ policy - pro rata per pupil funding for all schools with a top-up lump sum where that would be inadequate - for example small schools, split-site schools.
The Secretary of State has announced the final details of the reform of the school revenue funding system. This confirms the arrangements to ‘simplify the local funding system for 2013-14’ and the new approach to high needs funding is to ‘help improve transparency, quality and choice for young people and their families’. The DfE guidance, last updated on 5th December 2012, confirms the arrangements for 2013-14, including these comments:
- “We will not set a minimum threshold for the basic entitlement or pupil-led funding for the first year.
- We consulted on where, within a range of £100,000 to £150,000, we should set a maximum cap for the lump sum. In order to give local authorities maximum flexibility this first year, we are setting the cap, above this range, at £200,000. We believe that this is sufficient to cover the fixed costs of a small school. That is the purpose of the lump sum.”
But....most important, the DfE confirms that "the Minimum Funding Guarantee (MFG) will continue to apply at -1.5per cent per pupil in 2013-14 and 2014-15.
NASS has consulted members and others to discover that the range of Local Authority figures so far runs from a mere £42,500 in Worcestershire to £190,000 in Hampshire. Warwickshire claims its proposed provision leaves schools under 100 unviable- i.e. financially unviable and so under risk of closure. Nationally that puts every small school at risk from what is a new postcode lottery with a school in one county of a similar size to one in another county but up to £150,000 or more worse off.
Please help promote our “Fair Funding for Small Schools” campaign - schools are already protesting - via local MPs - David Laws, the Schools Minister. Please contact your political representatives and keep us informed of what is happening in your Council.
We are interested in your comments – please email email@example.com.
Mervyn Benford - Information Officer