Theresa May has welcomed the announcement of historic reforms that will bring an end to the unfairness in the school funding system. The plans unveiled by the Government will introduce a national funding formula to ensure every school will have funding matched to need, to give every child an excellent education. A number of local schools, particularly in Wokingham Borough, have raised concerns about the fact that some areas currently receive proportionately lower funding than other local authorities. Theresa has raised this issue with the Education Secretary in order to highlight the situation locally.
Under the current system, a school in one part of the country could receive over 50% more than an identical school with exactly the same children, simply because of an accident of history. Under proposals published for consultation, the Government has started the process of introducing a national funding formula from 2017 to 2018. This represents an important move towards a system where school funding is allocated on a consistent national formula. As part of this, local authorities will receive funding to help with their responsibilities towards young people with high-level special educational needs on a fair and formulaic basis, so that no pupil is disadvantaged simply by where they live.
Providing educational excellence everywhere is a key part of the Government’s mission to extend opportunity to every child. This includes protecting the core schools budget, which will be over £40 billion next year, including the pupil premium. This is the highest ever level of funding for schools of any government.
Commenting, Theresa said:
I am pleased that the Government has listened to the concerns in Wokingham Borough and elsewhere about the need for fairer school funding. The introduction of a national funding formula can ensure that every school receives the funding it needs, with extra funding for children from disadvantaged backgrounds. Alongside the Government’s commitment to protect the core schools budget, these reforms will help to end unfairness and make sure every child has the chance to receive a high quality education.