William Eichler 30 January 2020

Funding per pupil to ‘increase’, PM says

Local authorities will be required by law to make sure every school receives the full amount of the minimum levels of funding pledged for each pupil, the prime minister has announced.

New legislation presented to Parliament today means that every secondary school has been guaranteed at least £5,000 per pupil next year, and every primary school at least £3,750 per pupil, rising to £4,000 the following year.

‘Levelling up education is the key to helping every child reach their full potential,’ said Mr Johnson.

‘We’re guaranteeing the minimum level of funding for every pupil in every school so that, with a top class education, our children can go on to become the world’s future innovators, trailblazers and pioneers.’

Cllr Judith Blake, chair of the Local Government Association’s (LGA) Children and Young People Board, said the increase in school budgets was ‘good news’.

‘Councils, rather than Whitehall, are best placed to work with the schools in their communities to ensure this funding is distributed fairly,’ she continued.

‘Continuing to have some flexibility to agree with schools a local funding formula, would allow councils to work with Government to produce the best possible outcomes for both schools and pupils and ensure every child gets the best education possible.

‘The Government also needs to work with councils as part of its upcoming review on the SEND system so we can help it understand demand pressures and provide a long-term sustainable funding solution.’

Commenting on the Government’s announcement, Geoff Barton, general secretary of the Association of School and College Leaders, said: ‘It is great that minimum funding levels are being enshrined in legislation, but this is to do with a historic inequity in the way that school funding is distributed and not the fact that there is not enough money going into the system in the first place.

‘Despite the promises that the Government will reverse the cuts, the fact is that the money allocated to education over the next three years will not achieve this objective, particularly as the Government expects this pot of money to also fund its proposal to increase the starting pay of teachers to £30,000.’

‘The reality is that the financial situation for schools and colleges will continue to be extremely challenging and the funding crisis is not over,’ he added.

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