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New school funding formula announced by government

15/12/2016 Joanna

The Department for Education has provided details of a new funding formula for UK schools that aims to ensure that budgets are allocated in a fairer way.

Under the terms of the new formula, schools teaching children with similar characteristics and needs will receive the same level of funding, regardless of which part of the country the school is located.

The government described the move as a response to the "unfair, opaque and outdated" funding system that is currently in place, which is based on older data and can lead to certain schools receiving up to 50 per cent less money than similar establishments elsewhere in the UK, simply due to geographical reasons.

It is estimated that more than 10,000 schools will see an increase in funding as a consequence of this change, with protections built into the formula designed to ensure that any schools facing a reduction will not see their budget fall by more than 1.5 per cent per pupil per year, or 3 per cent per pupil overall.

For schools teaching students with high-level special educational needs, it has been pledged that no areas will see their funding levels reduced.

This new national funding formula will be introduced in the 2018-19 school year with an initial transitional period, during which local authorities will continue to set funding formulae at a local level. Subsequently, in 2019-20, the majority of school budgets will be determined on the basis of a single national formula.

Education secretary Justine Greening said: "We need a system that funds schools according to the needs of their pupils rather than their postcode, levelling the playing field and giving parents the confidence that every child will have an equal opportunity to reach their full potential."

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