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Tory cuts to education – school governors say ‘enough is enough’!*

by danielbarker on 4 February, 2019

School governors and trustees are responsible for the financial oversight of their schools, which includes deciding how the budget is spent – and almost three quarters are telling us that they are unable to manage funding pressures without negatively impacting pupils’ education.

It’s clear to see why. The Institute of Fiscal Studies (IFS) has calculated that total school spending per pupil has fallen by 8% in real terms between 2009-10 and 2017-18. This is in part due to a 55% cut in local authority spending on services for schools and cuts of over 20% to sixth-form funding. Funding provided per pupil to primary and secondary schools has also been hit hard over the past few years, falling 4% since 2015.

We are working with governing boards up and down the country as well as unions, charities and parent groups to make the case for investment in schools.

The impact on schools

We know that governors and trustees have acute concerns about their schools’ budgets. In May and June 2018, 5,218 governors and trustees responded to NGA’s annual survey of school governors and trustees. The findings are a stark reflection of the depth of the current funding crisis:

only half of respondents’ schools were able to balance their income and expenditure, with almost a third drawing on reserves – of these, 75% expected that they would run out within two years
high needs funding is a big concern, with 74% of respondents saying that current funding is insufficient
there is significant pressure on early years provision in schools
at the other end of school life, funding pressures are increasingly impacting on sixth form curriculums
schools have already made significant cuts due to financial constraints, including to staff – and secondary schools have felt the biggest impact so far
all school types are feeling the impact of cuts to local authority services
crucially, just one in five respondents thought funding pressures could be managed without negative impact on the quality of education their schools provide

The National Governors Association has put together nine ‘asks’ for the spending review, based on the latest research and intelligence collected from governors and trustees. These are:

The core revenue budget must be increased by at least £2 billion per year so that the basic rate that schools get for each pupil covers the costs of their education
The high needs budget for pupils with special educational needs and disabilities must be increased by at least £1.5 billion per year
The rate for 16-19 pupils must be increased to at least £4,760 per year
The pupil premium funding must be protected in real terms and included in the national funding formula, with reporting requirements retained
The government must review funding for early years so that all children have access to high quality, teacher-led early education
The national funding formula must be implemented in full as soon as possible, with funding distributed directly to schools
Funding settlements should be for a minimum of three years to enable schools to properly plan their budgets
The government must make sufficient capital funding available to return all school buildings to satisfactory or better condition
Local authority funding of services for schools and children must be properly funded, as must children’s mental and physical health services, so that pupils come to school safe, well and equipped to learn

* taken from the National Governors Association website

Content published and promoted by Willenhall Liberal Democrats all at 23 Lynwood Close, New Invention WV12 5BW

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