Prime Minister and Chancellor must act on school funding

14 September 2017

Education Secretary Justine Greening has today announced updated plans for the introduction of the national funding formula for schools.

Geoff Barton, General Secretary of the Association of School and College Leaders, said: “We welcome the government’s continued commitment to a national funding formula for schools. It is essential that schools are funded fairly wherever they are located, and that historical inequities which have created a postcode lottery are removed.

“Setting minimum funding levels for schools is also a welcome move, but we need to examine whether the levels announced today by the Secretary of State are sufficient. We fear they are still way too low to allow schools to deliver the quality of education they want to provide and which pupils need.

“The fundamental problem is there is not enough funding going into education. The additional £1.3bn announced by Justine Greening in July was a step in the right direction. But schools have already suffered huge cuts and the additional funding is nowhere near enough to prevent further cuts.

“And the £1.3bn comes with the caveat that it is one-off funding split over two years, recycled from elsewhere in the education budget. The Institute for Fiscal Studies reported that all this additional funding does is to reduce the real terms cut from 6.5% to 4.6% between 2015 and 2019.  

“By ASCL calculations, a further £2bn a year would be needed by 2020 to address this issue.

“Furthermore, the national funding formula does not deal with 16-19 funding which is set at an abysmally low level and is having a major impact on the education of students in sixth forms and colleges.

“It is time the Prime Minister and the Chancellor invested more in the future of our young people and recognised the urgency of an issue which nearly lost them the General Election. Parents will expect the Chancellor to deliver a better deal for schools and colleges in his budget on 22 November.”