School Funding Reforms
The Government intends to move, at some point in the future, towards a national funding formula for all schools. As a transition in 2013/14, a national set of factors to be used in all schools funding models was introduced.
There are mandatory factors and optional factors, and it is for each Local Authority in conjunction with their schools forum to decide which of the optional factors are prevalent to their local area and the amount of funding allocated to each factor; thus giving a national framework with locally derived flexibility.
The Department for Education (DfE) undertook a review of their 2013/14 reforms to schools funding in the spring of 2014 and introduced a number of changes for 2014/15.
View the details of the consultation on the Bucks funding model for 2014/15 and the final model being used to fund schools across Buckinghamshire here.
Fairer Schools Funding Consultation
In March 2014 the Department for Education issued a proposal to allocate an additional £350m in 2015-16 to increase the per-pupil budgets for the least fairly funded local areas.
We provided a joint response to the consultation with the Bucks schools forum. A copy of the response sent to the DfE can be found in the downloads.
Schools Funding Model for 2015/16
In July 2014, the DfE published their paper “Fairer Schools Funding: Arrangements for 2015 to 2016”. This followed on from the Consultation mentioned above, and included a commentary on the responses received and the DfE’s reply to the consultation. The indicative figures show that Bucks overall schools block funding will be increased by around £17m per year. The final figure will not be known until the October 2014 census data is known and included in the calculations.
The DfE is clear that the arrangements for 2015-16 and the method of calculating local authority funding, is not at present a further move to a national funding formula; and Local Authorities, in conjunction with their schools forums, still have flexibility to use a locally derived model when allocating funding to its schools in 2015/16.
A Link to the DfE papers on Fairer Schools Funding is found on the right of this page for your information.
We are now seeking the views of all schools and school leaders, both maintained and Academy, on the schools funding model for 2015/16, the current issues arising within the schools budget, and how the new money resulting from the Government’s Fairer Funding policy should be distributed. Click here to visit the 2015-16 Consultation page.