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Funding's tough up north

School funding is complicated and your piece on North York-shire's school budgets hasn't got it quite right (TES, February 9).

You say schools face budget cuts next year despite receiving Schools Standards grant. That is not so. If the grant from Gordon Brown was taken into account by North Yorkshire as part of core budgets (as the article alleges) there would, in fact, be real terms growth. Because North Yorkshire is straight and open with its schools it has made clear what is happening to core budgets separate from the grant. We respect the fact that the grant is designed to be extra money for schools.

What we cannot conceal, however, is hat the school spending assessment increase on which we depend for core funding is not enough to cover pay and price increases, rising pupil numbers, increasing special-needs referrals and increased Standards Fund contributions. Hence the real-terms cuts in core budgets.

In reality, parallel funding streams don't fund parallel universes within individual schools - it's for schools to decide how they use all their funding. It's North Yorkshire's job to make clear what the funding will be, and to alert them to underlying trends.

Cynthia Welbourne

Director of education

North Yorkshire Education Authority


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