Just days after education secretary Justine Greening presented her new funding formula aligned with a promise of more funds to schools across the country, Headteachers have come together to pen a letter of warning to parents in 17 counties.
Greening had set aside an extra £1.3 billion of extra cash but calculations by school leaders suggest that almost 5% of cuts will still be accrued between 2015 and 2020. Further criticism came from the decision to place the distribution of funds into the hands of local authorities who have their own funding formulas, causing over 4,000 Headteachers to describe the process as a “postcode lottery”.
The letter sent to parents on Thursday stated, “parents and carers need to be clear that schools in very similar socio-economic areas will continue to have entirely different levels of funding”.
Statistics suggest discrepancies of up to £2,000 per pupil between secondary schools in Yorkshire compared to those in London who will attract more funding. Yet education unions suggest 88% of schools will still be working off a smaller budget than five years previous, with a typical primary school worse off annually by £52,546 and secondary schools down by £178,000 each year.
The shadow education secretary, Angela Rayner, suggested, “there is no new money and every penny has been found by cutting the education budget elsewhere”.
The new funding formula undoubtedly presents much-needed funds for every school but a number of Headteachers are clearly feeling like they are missing out if they are not within large inner-city areas. The feeling across the board is that Justine Greening’s new system is only partly patching up a stream of funding leaks with schools still feeling the pinch in a number of areas.