Schools in the least fairly funded local areas in England are to be allocated an additional £390 million of funding in order to ensure fairer funding of English schools, Schools Minister David Laws announced recently.
Across the country, schools require a fairer funding allocation that equips them to provide an excellent education to pupils. The Government has consulted on a proposal to allocate additional funding to schools in the least fairly funded areas. This consultation has confirmed that there is an overwhelming consensus that the allocation of funding to local areas across England is unfair.
The proposal included the following ideas:
- To protect all local authority budgets at the same cash level in 2015 to 2016 as in 2014 to 2015
- To increase the budgets of the least fairly funded local areas by setting minimum funding levels that all areas should attract for their pupils and schools
- Where a local area already attracted these minimum funding levels, there will be no change to the amount of funding per pupil that it received for 2015 to 2016
- If a local area attracted less than these minimum funding levels for the pupils and schools in its area, its budget would be increased so that it met those levels.
Mr Laws said he had listened carefully to the views of honourable members and considered over 570 responses to the consultation before confirming the allocation of extra money to the least fairly funded local areas, saying that this was the fairest way of distributing the additional funding available.
Sixty-nine local areas will attract this additional funding, including for example, Cambridgeshire – the lowest funded area in 2014 to 2015 – will now receive an additional £311 for every pupil. Northumberland will now receive an additional £307 for each of its pupils and Croydon an additional £278.
The additional funding will address the unfair distribution of mainstream schools funding. In the 69 local areas that will attract additional funding, schools forums will now be able to agree a local funding formula for 2015 to 2016.
At Nicklin, our academies specialists can provide all the expertise schools need, along with ongoing advice and services to support academies in managing their own budgets and making the best use of their new financial freedoms which may include maximising the benefits of any additional funding they receive. For more information, please contact us.