New school funding formula could cost councils

The Department for Education (DfE) has revealed plans for a new national school funding formula to amend the uneven distribution of funding.

In revealing the new formula, Education Secretary Nicky Morgan has said that the current system is ‘outdated, inefficient and unfair’ and that schools need funding that ‘genuinely matches their need’.

The changes, which will be implemented in 2017-18, will see local authorities removed from the process, with funding being directly awarded to heads. From 2016-17 there will be an ‘invest to save’ fund to assist schools in ‘managing the transition’.

With the link between schools and local authorities being further reduced, the DfE has suggested that councils will retain some control over funding for areas with ‘high-level special educational needs’.

Morgan said: “We want every school in England to get the funding it deserves, so that all children - whatever their background and wherever they live in the country - get a great education.

“The introduction of a national funding formula from 2017 to 2018 will see the biggest step towards fairer funding in over a decade - ensuring that pupils get funding that genuinely matches their need. It will also ensure that pupils from disadvantaged backgrounds continue to receive significant additional funding to overcome entrenched barriers to their success.

“This is a key part of our core mission to extend opportunity to all children and provide educational excellence in all parts of the country: rural and urban, shire and metropolitan, north and south.”