Funding 28: Education Secretary Statement, 17th July

You will no doubt be aware the Education Secretary, the RT Hon Justine Greening MP, has announced an additional £1.3 billion for schools and high needs across 2018-19 and 2019-20, in addition to the schools budget set at Spending Review 2015. This funding is across the next two years as we transition to the National Funding Formula. Spending plans for years beyond 2019-20 will be set out in a future Spending Review.

Whilst on the face of it, this is could be seen as positive news, clearly the devil will be in the detail and this will not be known until the Autumn. We would stress that figures quoted within the statement relate to national averages and funding to be allocated to the local authority. The amount a school will receive will depend on decisions made as part of the Local funding Formula. We will of course keep you informed but hope these extracts are useful.

The full statement can be found on the DfE website https://www.gov.uk/government/speeches/justine-greening-statement-to-parliament-on-school-funding

Key extracts from the statement:
I am today confirming our plans to get on with introducing a national funding formula in 2018-19. I can announce that will now be supported by significant extra investment into the core schools budget over the next two years.

As a result of this investment, core funding for schools and high needs will rise from almost £41 billion in 2017-18 to £42.4 billion in 2018-19. In 2019-20 this will rise again to £43.5 billion. This represents £1.3 billion in additional investment: £416 million more than was set aside at the last spending review for the core school budget in 2018-19, and £884 million more in 2019-20. It will mean that the total schools budget will increase by £2.6 billion between this year and 2019-20, and per pupil funding will now be maintained in real terms for the remaining two years of the Spending Review period to 2019-20.

…………..we will respond to the consultation in full in September, but I can today tell the House that the additional investment we are able to make in our schools will allow us to do several things, including:
• Increase the basic amount that every pupil will attract in 2018-19 and 2019-20;
• For the next two years, provide for up to 3% gains a year per pupil for underfunded schools, and a 0.5% a year per pupil cash increase for every school;
• Continue to protect funding for pupils with additional needs, as we proposed in December.

Given this additional investment, we are able to increase the percentage allocated to pupil led factors, something I know our honourable members were keen to see happen, and this formula settlement to 2019-20 will provide at least £4,800 per pupil for every secondary school, something which I know Members in some areas will welcome in particular……….

………….local authorities will then continue to set a local formula, as they do now, for determining individual schools’ budgets in 2018 19 and 2019-20, in consultation with schools in the area. I will shortly publish the operational guide to allow them to begin that process. To support their planning, I am also confirming now that in 2018 19, all local authorities will receive some increase over the amount they plan to spend on schools and high needs in 2017-18. We will confirm gains for local authorities, based on the final formula, in September.

The guide will set out some important areas that are fundamental to supporting a fairer distribution through the national funding formula. For example, we will ring-fence the vast majority of funding provided for primary and secondary schools although local authorities, in agreement with their local schools forum, will be able to move some limited amounts of funding to other areas, such as special schools, where this better matches local need.

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