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

Sheffield City Region announces major housing pilot

23/11/2017Sheffield City Region announces major housing pilot

Sheffield City Region (SCR) will begin to assess applications for new housing schemes as part of an £8m pilot project across the area. ... more >
London council to launch ‘ethical debt collection’ for residents

23/11/2017London council to launch ‘ethical debt collection’ for residents

Hammersmith and Fulham Council (H & F) have launched “ethical debt collections” service in a bid to reduce costs to residents. ... more >
Council told to reimburse Suffolk woman charged for care she never received

23/11/2017Council told to reimburse Suffolk woman charged for care she never received

Suffolk County Council has been hit by criticism from the Local Government and Social Care Ombudsman (LGO) after a woman was wrongly charged for ... 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

City-centric, deeply disappointing and a nightmare – criticisms pile against the Budget

22/11/2017City-centric, deeply disappointing and a nightmare – criticisms pile against the Budget

It’s been a busy day in the PSE office. Philip Hammond’s Autumn Budget included a number of interesting announcements, ranging from new devolution deals and housing measures to changes to business rates. This year’s Statement was described well by Lord Bob Kerslake, who said it had been a “mixed bag” for hous... more >
read more blog posts from 'the raven' >

comment

Driving forward a healthier Scotland

10/11/2017Driving forward a healthier Scotland

Dundee City Council is leading the way in boosting electric vehicle (EV) uptake in Scotland, writes Rebecca Wallace from the local authority&rsqu... more >
A smarter approach to digital transformation

10/11/2017A smarter approach to digital transformation

Catherine Bright, Smarter Digital Services (SDS) manager, explains how a partnership of 12 councils across Kent and Surrey are jointly funding a ... more >
Delivering on estates

10/11/2017Delivering on estates

Sam Ulyatt, strategic category commercial director at the Crown Commercial Service (CCS), on how a new framework can help public sector organisat... more >
Open for business

10/11/2017Open for business

Clare Moore, senior specialist of valuation and disposals at the Homes and Communities Agency (HCA), explains how public sector bodies looking to... more >

interviews

‘The HSCN is the realisation of industry best practice’

30/06/2017‘The HSCN is the realisation of industry best practice’

Keith Smith, public sector business development manager at Virgin Media Business, tells PSE’s Luana Salles that health and social care orga... more >
HSCN: The enabler for a more joined-up public sector

26/06/2017HSCN: The enabler for a more joined-up public sector

Mark Hall, Chief Assurance Officer at Redcentric, discusses NHS Digital’s project, the new Health and Social Care Network (HSCN) and what b... more >
Maintaining the momentum for further devolution

25/04/2017Maintaining the momentum for further devolution

Ahead of this year’s mayoral elections, Lord Kerslake, the former head of the Civil Service, tells PSE’s David Stevenson why the argu... more >
New social care funding misses the point

13/04/2017New social care funding misses the point

Clive Betts MP, chair of the Communities and Local Government (CLG) Committee, reflects on the social care funding released in this year’s ... more >

public sector focus

View all News