FUTURE SCHOOL FUNDING-CONSULTATIONS BUT LITTLE DETAIL

SCHOOL FUNDING

All a bit up in the air

Comment

The Government is designing  a model for new Academy funding. One slightly wonders why this wasn’t worked on more  while  in opposition, notwithstanding resource constraints.

Think tanks   too should have been more active in this important  area.

Rather too much detail on the  New Academies/Free school initiative is lacking, including, rather importantly, the capital  funding issue. Potential suppliers are waiting on the sidelines until they see what the deal is.

The pupil premium idea is another detail missing but will be included in legislation in the autumn.  ie  the second Education Bill. A consultation on the Dedicated Schools Grant  which ended on 7 June  was the result of a  review of school funding started by the previous Government. Launched in March 2010  it was still running at the time of the  General election. The Government  expect to publish a report on the responses shortly. Indeed, it is considering the responses to this exercise as a part of  its  own consultation on school funding, which will be launched in the summer.

School Funding is a hugely complex issue and few Heads fully  understand  why they get what they get in terms of funding for their school, although some schools are better than others at exploiting what is available.

The IFS found in a 2008 report  that the current school funding regime did little to improve performance, assist choice or to promote equity in the system. So it was  doing little to help the Government deliver its  agenda. It  noted  too that it lacked transparency. Any system that lacks transparency  lacks accountability too.

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