Education

18.07.17

Counties claim £1.3bn school boost falls flat of addressing chronic underfunding

County councils have today warned that the £1.3bn funding announced for schools yesterday is positive in the short term, but that more needs to be done to redress inequalities in funding across the country.

Yesterday, education secretary Justine Greening announced a tranche of £1.3bn to support the UK’s ailing schools in order to allow local authorities to increase budgets injected into the sector.

Around £416m of the cash pot will be distributed in 2018-19, before the remaining £884m is added in 2019-20.

“Fairer schools funding – backed by today’s additional investment – will deliver the biggest improvement to the school funding system for well over a decade,” Greening said. “It will mean an increase in the basic amount that every pupil will get, protected funding for those with high needs and will ensure every local authority is in a position to give schools a cash increase through the new formula.

“This means that, with teachers and schools across the country, we can continue to raise standards and give every child the best possible education, and the best opportunities for the future.”

But today, the County Councils Network (CCN) has warned that the cash may not go far enough to support some authorities, including counties, who have suffered from years of austerity.

“This announcement is positive in the short term, and we welcome the government’s re-commitment to the fairer funding formula,” said Cllr Ian Hudspeth, CCN spokesman for education.

“However, it must deliver for counties, who have been grossly underfunded for years. As we will set out in our new report which calls for a ‘new deal’ for counties, government should take steps to redress the imbalances in pupil funding which sees a 47% gap per pupil between inner London and counties on average.”

Cllr Hudspeth also argued it was “imperative” that government did not simply provide an uplift in basic per-pupil funding, as this would not address the historic inequities that have built up.

“Instead, it should seek to implement a baseline of funding that will allow each school to be sustainable in the long term,” he explained. 

“When the revised formula was first announced, there was real concern that rural schools would be adversely affected; we must have an increased weighting for rural funding to ensure these schools are sustainable in the long term.”

And the Local Government Association (LGA) has also said that it was pleased that the government had committed to ensuring no school was worse off as a result of the national funding formula. 

"However we need urgent assurance that it is not coming at the expense of other education provision. We look forward to receiving further details from the Government about where the money is coming from and how it will be distributed," the chair of the organisation's Children and Young People's Board said. 

"Retaining local flexibility over the distribution of school funding is essential and we are pleased that the government has listened to the LGA and local authorities by recognising their role and extending the soft formula until 2019/20.  

“We look forward to working with the Education Secretary on creating more school places through the establishment of 30 new schools in consultation with local authorities, this is something the LGA has long called for," he added.

"However, government must go further in recognising councils’ role in creating school places by giving all councils the power to build schools where they are needed."

Top Image: David Mirzoeff

Have you got a story to tell? Would you like to become a PSE columnist? If so, click here.

Comments

There are no comments. Why not be the first?

Add your comment

 

public sector executive tv

more videos >

latest public sector news

Academies mean councils struggling to take integrated approach to education

23/02/2018Academies mean councils struggling to take integrated approach to education

Councils are struggling to take an integrated approach to education in areas where high numbers of secondary schools are academies, a report by the... more >
Core Cities leaders press for domestic post-Brexit agenda after meeting with Barnier

23/02/2018Core Cities leaders press for domestic post-Brexit agenda after meeting with Barnier

Leaders and mayors representing Core Cities UK have met with the EU chief negotiator Michel Barnier this week. The Brussels meeting saw leaders ... more >
DHSC seeks views on addressing care workforce challenges

23/02/2018DHSC seeks views on addressing care workforce challenges

A consultation focusing on the adult social care workforce has been launched by the Department of Health and Social Care (DHSC), in partnership wit... more >

editor's comment

25/10/2017Take a moment to celebrate

Devolution, restructuring and widespread service reform: from a journalist’s perspective, it’s never been a more exciting time to report on the public sector. That’s why I could not be more thrilled to be taking over the reins at PSE at this key juncture. There could not be a feature that more perfectly encapsulates this... read more >

last word

The importance of openness after Grenfell

The importance of openness after Grenfell

Following the recent Grenfell Tower tragedy, Lord Porter, chairman of the LGA, argues that if the public are going to have faith in the safety testing process then everything must be out in the o... more > more last word articles >
View all News

the raven's daily blog

Whole of government must act together to fulfil the ambition of the Industrial Strategy

11/12/2017Whole of government must act together to fulfil the ambition of the Industrial Strategy

Jen Rae, head of innovation policy at Nesta, says the aims in the government’s new Industrial Strategy are ambitious, but will require a shift in policymaking in order to be realised in full. Last Monday saw the long-awaited launch of the UK’s new Industrial Strategy, the government’s plan for prosperity and growth in a ... more >
read more blog posts from 'the raven' >

comment

An unsettling finance settlement?

23/02/2018An unsettling finance settlement?

Piali Das Gupta, head of policy at Solace, looks over the final local government finance settlement and argues that it does not do enough to supp... more >
Finance settlement: a golden opportunity

23/02/2018Finance settlement: a golden opportunity

The local government finance settlement must enable counties to continue to be the engines of the English economy by providing a fairer funding a... more >
Data protection by design

23/02/2018Data protection by design

Nigel Houlden, head of technology policy at the Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO), looks at how organisations can win back public tru... more >
Citizen-centric cities for a better tomorrow

22/02/2018Citizen-centric cities for a better tomorrow

Mark Collin, group director of Ventures at ThoughtWorks, discusses how governments can learn from a bottom-up, citizen-focused approach to d... more >

interviews

BIM: Digitising the public sector

19/02/2018BIM: Digitising the public sector

PSE’s Josh Mines talks to Stephen Crompton, CTO at GroupBC, and Stuart Bell, the company’s sales and marketing director, about how Bu... more >
Duncan Selbie: The energy of devolution

19/02/2018Duncan Selbie: The energy of devolution

The NHS plays a part in keeping the country well – but when it comes to places and their people, local government has a major role to fulfi... more >
Are we taking a risk on education?

14/12/2017Are we taking a risk on education?

Adrian Prandle, director of economic strategy and negotiations at the National Education Union (NEU), questions the stark lack of announcements a... more >
A fantastic opportunity awaits you

11/12/2017A fantastic opportunity awaits you

Eight months on from the government’s announcement of major training reforms, Anne Milton, minister for apprenticeships and skills at the D... more >

public sector focus

View all News