School funding overhaul could start this year
A major overhaul of the school funding system, which could redistribute money from inner-London schools to those outside the capital, is a priority for the government, TES understands.
The first steps towards the introduction of a fair funding formula, which would radically alter the way the national education budget is allocated, are expected to be taken this year.
A source close to the Department for Education told TES that they expected the formula to be introduced over a three-to-five-year period, with “floors and ceilings” built in to ensure that no school gained or lost more than a fixed percentage of its budget.
“Funding will go from Labour areas [in London] towards Conservative ones,” the source said. “That’s not the purpose of the formula, but that’s what’s going to happen in effect.”
Chris Healy, headteacher of Balcarras School in Cheltenham, which is one of the lowest-funded areas, said he was pleased about the prospect of a new funding formula. At current funding levels, Mr Healy said, his school faced insolvency by 2018.
“It doesn’t make any sense that funding at the moment is based on historical factors that go back decades,” he added.
A DfE spokeswoman said: “We recognise there is still work to do over the coming months. We will be looking at what needs to be done to ensure that all local areas are funded justly.”
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