Greening announces fairer funding update

Education secretary Justine Greening has set out measures to replace ‘outdated’ school funding system

Education secretary Justine Greening has confirmed details of a new fairer funding system for schools in England that intends to put an end to what has been termed the ‘postcode lottery’ that has seen the disproportionate distribution of funding to similar schools across the country.

It is hoped that the long awaited National Funding Formula (NFF) will ensure that for the first time funding is based on the individual needs and characteristics of every school in the country. The publication of the final NFF for 2018-19 and 2019-20 in Parliament today follows two major consultations, generating more than 26,000 responses, and the education secretary’s announcement in July of an additional £1.3bn boost to the front line schools budget.

The NFF will provide funding gains for schools across England, allocating:

  • an increase in the basic amount allocated for every pupil;
  • a minimum per pupil funding level for both secondaries and primaries to target the lowest funded schools;
  • a minimum cash increase for every school of one per cent per pupil by 2019-20, with the most underfunded schools seeing rises of three per cent per pupil in 2018-19 and 2019-20;
  • a £110,000 lump sum for every school to help with fixed costs and an additional £26m to rural and isolated schools to help them manage their unique challenges.

Education secretary Justine Greening said:

“Standards are rising across our school system and a fairer funding formula will ensure we can build on that success. It will replace the outdated funding system which saw our children have very different amounts invested in their education purely because of where they were growing up. That was unacceptable and we have now made school funding fairer between schools for the first time in decades.

It’s a long overdue reform and our £1.3bn extra funding means every school can gain.”

The Education Secretary’s oral statement on school funding from July is available here.

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Further information:

  • The core funding for schools and high needs will rise from almost £41bn in 2017-18 to £42.4bn in 2018-19. In 2019-20 it will rise again to £43.5bn.
  • On the ground, the formula will result in a significant boost directed towards secondary schools that would have been the lowest funded under our December proposals, which will gain on average 4.7%, rural schools, which will gain on average 3.9%, with those schools in the most remote locations gaining 5.0%, and those schools with high numbers of pupils starting with low attainment, which will gain on average 3.8%.
  • Alongside the formula published for schools, the government also confirmed reforms to funding for children and young people with high needs. Every local authority will see a minimum increase of 0.5% per head in 2018-19, and one per cent per head in 2019-20 . And underfunded local authorities will receive up to three per cent per head gains a year for the next two years. Overall, local authorities will gain 4.6% on average on their high needs budgets.

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