Teachers pay grant in sixth form settings - October 2018

What is the context? The DfE has committed to funding the 2018/19 pay award for teachers. The DfE grant is not intended to cover the first 1% of costs of applying the 2018/19 pay award but should cover everything above that.

ASCL position: ASCL believes that the pay of teachers in all types of sixth form provision should be equally and fairly supported by the teachers’ pay grant. 

Why are we saying it? The institutions in scope for the pay grant include maintained schools and academies with pupils aged 2-19. Excluded from scope are sixth form colleges and FE colleges.

School and college funding - October 2018

What is the context? The overall national education budget should be set such that all educational institutions can be funded at a level that enables them to provide an outstanding quality of education for their students. Education spending is an investment in the future workforce and should reflect the expectations of the nation having a world class education system in future years.

ASCL position: ASCL considers the current quantum of funding for schools and colleges to be wholly inadequate. Unless the situation improves rapidly the opportunities offered to, and the outcomes achieved by, our young people will be significantly compromised.

Why are we saying it? The number of schools posting in-year deficits is increasing. The implementation of the national funding formula (NFF) has not enabled all schools to achieve their gains under the formula. According to the Institute of Fiscal Studies (IFS) total school spending has fallen by 8% in real terms. There is no educational justification for the dip in funding that exists between Key Stage 4 and Key Stage 5.

High needs funding - October 2018

What is the context? As part of the recent reforms to the dedicated schools grant (DSG) the high needs block is allocated according to a national formula. The reforms to the DSG include a restriction on the flexibilities that LAs have to move funds from the schools’ block to support other blocks, typically the high needs block. Historically, around three quarters of LAs have moved funds. This policy change has brought the severity of the situation in high needs funding into sharp focus. There are 240,000 children and young people with an education health and care plan (EHCP), and a further one million that require SEN support. 95% of pupils who require SEND support and don’t have an EHCP are educated in mainstream schools.

Special educational needs and disability (SEND) funding should be allocated on a formula basis that correlates to local SEND needs. 

ASCL position: ASCL considers the immediate and grave pressures on high needs funding blocks across the country have now reached critical proportions. We are in imminent danger of failing the most vulnerable young people in society.

Why are we saying it? Special educational needs and disability (SEND) funding should be allocated on a formula basis that correlates to local SEND needs. The national formula does not reflect actual local need and the current level of funding is not sufficient to meet current needs.

High Needs - February 2018

What is the context? High needs funding is allocated to local authorities for onward distribution to meet local need via a range of different types of maintained and no-maintained provision. High needs funding must support the needs of children and young people with special educational needs and disabilities from birth to age 25.

ASCL position: ASCL calls for High Needs funding that is sufficient to meet the needs of all children and young people. The DfE should take positive steps towards implementing national principles or standards for the transparent operation of top-up funding. These standards should be relative to needs and be applied consistently across the country.

Why are we saying it? Top-up funding is the funding required over and above the core or place funding an institution receives.  We know from anecdotal evidence and our own research that significant differences exist between the bandings and their associated monetary value in different parts of the country. This is supported by research undertaken by the Isos Partnership in 2015

Minimum per pupil funding levels - February 2018
What is the context? The NFF (September 2017) acknowledges the requirement for a minimum per pupil funding level but it doesn’t go far enough. The current methodology benchmarks minimum per pupil funding against a basket of factors including basic per pupil funding (AWPU), some additionality factors and some school factors. 

ASCL positionThe basic per pupil funding that a school receives should be sufficient to deliver a broad and balanced curriculum without subsidy from additional needs funding. Minimum per pupil funding level calculations should not include additional needs or school led funding.

Why are we saying it? It is ASCL’s view that the minimum per pupil level should reflect the cost of delivering a core curriculum in a baseline school and should not include additionality funding. We think that pupils eligible for additionality funding should have full access to that funding. Schools should not have to use additionality funding to subsidise core curriculum delivery

Apprenticeship Levy - October 2017

ASCL calls for the removal of the requirements for schools and colleges to pay the apprenticeship levy.

National Funding Formula (NFF) - October 2017

ASCL welcomes the NFF but considers that funding levels remain insufficient to deliver an adequate level of education.

ASCL requires local authorities to take concrete steps towards full implementation of NFF for all so that transparency and fairness in school and high needs funding allows for certainty in long-term financial planning.

High Needs Funding - October 2017

ASCL calls on the government to ensure all relevant health bodies are compliant with the requirement to make appropriate contributions to education and health care plans.

Academy audit - June 2017

Audit should not be a process that disadvantages the academy sector through being overly bureaucratic and costly in its financial reporting and recording mechanisms.

Funding reform - June 2017

ASCL believes that simply reforming the funding formula will never address the insufficiency that exists in the system. ASCL requires a NFF which establishes immediate and on-going sufficiency, transparency and fairness in school and high needs funding, which will allow certainty and stability in long-term financial planning.

National Funding Formula (NFF) - February 2017

ASCL welcomes the reaffirmed commitment of government to establish a fair and transparent formula for distribution of school funding.  

ASCL believes that the proposed NFF structure will not allow for all children to reach their full potential because the basic per pupil funding values are too low. There remains a significant unfairness of distribution.

ASCL continues to require a NFF which establishes immediate and ongoing sufficiency, transparency and fairness in school funding which will allow certainty and stability in long-term financial planning.

Apprenticeship Levy - February 2017

ASCL welcomes the government’s commitment to supporting young people to get the best start in life, through the opportunity that high quality education and training provides. 

However, ASCL believes that the Apprenticeship Levy does not represent value for money for schools and we require the DfE to ensure that it does not result in diverting money away from the education of young people.  

National Funding Formula - October 2016

ASCL National Council requires the government to prioritise the immediate substantial allocation of funds to support schools in the financial transition towards a National Funding Formula led system.

The National Funding Formula must establish immediate and on-going sufficiency, transparency and fairness in school funding, which will allow certainty and stability in long-term financial planning.

SCAPE discount rate - July 2016

ASCL believes the proposed change to the SCAPE discount rate from 2019 onwards must be fully funded to avoid a further negative impact on children in schools.

National Audit Office study: School Capital programme - July 2016

Given national financial constraints ASCL urges the government to tighten up all strategic planning related to school places to avoid waste. On conversion to academy status schools should have the option to enter a pooled pension scheme. However, the implications of one academy moving from one Trust to another must take account of the significant implications of moving from one pooled pension scheme to another.

Superannuation Contributions Adjusted on Past Experience (SCAPE) - July 2016

The proposed change to the SCAPE discount rate from 2019 onwards MUST be fully funded to avoid further negative impact on children in schools.

Education Funding - January 2016

A world class education system cannot be delivered without sufficient, equitable and sustainable investment which is crucial to the long-term economic well-being of the country.

Post-16 Funding - July 2015

ASCL welcomes Professor Alison Wolf’s ‘Heading for the Precipice’ report. The inadequate level of post-16 funding combined with swingeing cuts to adult skills endangers quality of provision and sustainability of FE. Communities are in danger of losing the training essential for the employability of many of their young people.

Post-18 students - October 2014

Reduction of funding for students over the age of 18 unfairly disadvantages many vulnerable students. ASCL strongly urges government to reconsider this decision.

Post-16 retaking courses - October 2014

The refusal to fund students retaking courses is iniquitous. The decision over students retaking a course should lie with the professional judgement of the provider who will be held to account by Ofsted and EFA.

SEN funding - October 2014

ASCL welcomes the greater clarity of the new SEND system and its potential to improve the life chances of those children with special needs and disabilities. In order to fulfil their new responsibilities, schools will need:

  • Clear and widely agreed methods for assessing the needs of SEND students and allocating resources

  • Simple and timely access to top up funding to meet the additional needs of High Need students

  • Notional SEN amounts in school budgets that are sufficient to provide for non-High Need SEND students

Capital Funding – June 2014

All capital funding must be realistic in the context of schools and colleges being able to maintain appropriate premises and infra-structure in order to deliver quality education. Any allocation system must be transparent, fit for purpose and based on need.

We have grave concerns about the inadequacy of DFC, the inequitable bidding system which unfairly advantages the Academy and Free school sector and the dependency of maintained schools on the Local Authority Basic Need Grant.

ASCL has grave concerns about the expectation that colleges have to borrow unsustainable large sums to cover capital expenditure.

PFI – June 2014

ASCL is concerned about the very serious financial implications and hence the impact on the quality of education provision in schools locked into PFI contracts with year on year increases not matched by current funding.

SEN funding – February 2014

ASCL is seriously concerned about the proxy indicators used in local formulas to distribute the high incidence low costs special needs funding.  This leads to significant variability in the ability to meet need across the country. ASCL calls for consistency, clarity, predictability and security of funding for the most vulnerable students wherever they are educated.

Post-16 funding – February 2014

ASCL believes that the continuing real term reduction in Post-16 funding threatens curriculum and teaching such that students in schools and colleges are unable to access suitable adequate and meaningful provision. Coupled with this we believe some courses and opportunities will be unavailable to students outside the large conurbations.