William Eichler 05 March 2020

Councils and teachers call for over £5bn of extra school funding

Local authorities, parents and teachers have joined forces to call on the Government to increase school funding by £5.5bn.

The Government pledged last year to increase school funding by £7.1bn over the next three years – a figure which fell short of the £12.6bn they estimated was needed to deliver a sustainable world class education for every child.

A coalition group, which includes Save our Schools, WorthLess? campaign, SSAT network and the Headteachers Roundtable, as well as teacher unions and the f40 group of local authorities, is urging Government to set out a long-term funding plan.

The coalition also called for a sufficiently funded, national, High Needs Funding Formula that reflects the cost of provision identified to meet the needs of those with SEND.

James McInnes, chair of f40, which represents some of the lowest funded local authorities for education across the country, said: ‘We are thankful for the extra funding – it’s a step in the right direction – but we continue to be very concerned about the duress schools are under in providing the basic curriculum.

‘Schools are also having to pick up the pieces due to a lack of funding in mental health and social care, yet they don’t necessarily have the expertise or funding to provide the additional support that young people need.

‘Early years and Post 16 are also greatly underfunded, with many nurseries no longer viable, while many local authorities also have enormous deficit SEND budgets.’

Paul Whiteman, general secretary of National Association of Head Teachers (NAHT), said: ‘The Government cannot say it's 'job done' on school funding.

‘Whilst funding pressures have had an impact everywhere, life in small schools is especially precarious, with four in 10 leaders worried about closure. The threat of closure also hangs over many maintained nurseries.

A long-term funding solution for small schools and nurseries should be an urgent priority for Government.’

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