MPs launch inquiry into school funding

Commons committee will examine whether the government needs a 10-year spending plan for schools

Martin George

MP inquiry

MPs have launched an inquiry into school funding in England.

The investigation will examine whether the government should have a 10-year plan for schools and colleges, instead of the current system of three-year spending reviews.

Commons Education Select Committee chair Robert Halfon said he hoped the MPs would be able to “help to make the case” that there should be a new approach to school funding, similar to that signalled by the prime minister for the NHS.

The inquiry will also consider the effectiveness of the pupil premium, which targets additional resources at children from deprived backgrounds, and how the new national funding formula will be implemented.

The move comes amid continuing warnings about the effect of the funding squeeze on schools.

Mr Halfon said: “Young people are in compulsory education for around 13 years, yet government only plans investment in education every three or four years. We need to move to a situation where education funding is not driven primarily by Treasury processes but rather by a long-term strategic assessment of our national priorities for education and skills.

Funding pressures 'challenge' quality education

“Rising cost pressures faced by schools, sixth-form and FE colleges have led to serious challenges in the provision of high-qualityy education which can be a key driver for social justice and productivity. The spending review provides the government with an opportunity to help to close the funding gap and it is vital this process is informed by the views of parents, teachers and pupils.”

He added: “Education provides a vital ladder of opportunity for our young people. This inquiry will examine whether it is time to have a 10-year plan for our schools and colleges, and what resources are required to put this plan into action.”

The committee asked for written evidence by 30 May 2018 on the following issues:

  • What the Department for Education’s priorities should be for the next spending review period as they relate to schools and colleges.
  • Whether the spending review cycle is the best mechanism for determining overall expenditure on schools and colleges, and what that level should be.
  • The effectiveness of targeted funding such as the pupil premium, and its relationship to core education funding.
  • The practical implementation of the national funding formula.

Click here to submit evidence.

Want to keep up with the latest education news and opinion? Follow Tes on Twitter and like Tes on Facebook

Register to continue reading for free

It only takes a moment and you'll get access to more news, plus courses, jobs and teaching resources tailored to you

Martin George

Martin George

Martin George is a reporter at Tes

Find me on Twitter @geomr

Latest stories

FE regulation: why we need one single body

Why we need a single regulatory body in FE

The confusing, unhelpful and burdensome regulations in further education are ripe for reform – and the peers in the House of Lords know it, writes David Hughes
David Hughes 21 Jun 2021