Haverhill schools defiant in face of cuts of more than £900k

Trust claims rising pupil numbers will actually have positive impact on funding

CREDIT: This story was first seen in the Cambridge News

Haverhill schools could face cuts of more than £900,000 following government changes to funding, Cambridge News reports.

The department for Education (DfE) has been consulting on introducing a ‘fairer funding formula’ for all schools in England and Wales from 2018/2019 as well as cuts to the Education Services Grant announced in the 2015 budget.

All nine schools in Haverhill are projected to have their funding slashed by a total of £924,808 by 2019 if plans go ahead.

Samuel Ward Academy, which leads the Samuel Ward Academy Trust (SWAT), is likely to be the worst affected with a potential income cut of £365,294, equivalent to losing £322 per pupil and nine teachers.

SWAT operates six of the nine schools likely to be affected, but believes it can cope with any funding changes.

Mark Neild, deputy CEO of the trust, said: “Samuel Ward Academy Trust has robust financial management and forecasting processes. This enables the trust to mitigate any risk factors and allows us to remain focused on delivering outstanding educational outcomes for our students.

“As a well regarded trust with schools that have their community at their heart, our student numbers are rising year-on-year. This will have a positive impact on our future funding on our schools.

“As an established trust we can offer economies of scale through centralised services and as such make efficient use of our funding.”

He added that savings made are invested into teaching and learning.

The national funding formula was announced by education secretary Justine Greening last year.

Unions have launched a schools cuts website which breaks down how much funding each school could be set to lose. It draws on findings from a December 2016 National Audit Office (NAO) report which found that mainstream schools in England would need to find £3bn of savings by 2019/20 to counteract cost cutting.

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A DfE spokesperson said: “On sites such as schoolcuts.org NUT and ATL ignore the fact that pupil numbers, nationally, and in many schools, are rising.

“Because per pupil funding is protected at current rates, this means more money in our schools. Overall, taking per pupil funding and rising pupil numbers together, the school budget will be maintained in real terms in this parliament.”

To find out how the cuts might affect your area go to schoolcuts.org.uk

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