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Ottery’s King’s School could face further cuts, despite small increase in funding

Wednesday, 04 October 2017 0 Comments by Claire

See the statement from headteacher, Rob Gammon below, which relates to the slightly better picture that the government’s national funding formula has provided for local schools.

Unfortunately, due to cost pressures, local schools are still in a precarious position.

Previously, the revised national funding formula, which was consulted on earlier this year, left one third of Devon schools worse off, despite them being already virtually at the bottom of the funding league table.

Nationally, the NAHT union has described schools funding as in crisis and yesterday, fired off a letter to the chancellor - see their website http://www.naht.org.uk/

2.8bn has been cut from schools budgets since 2015 and the many cost pressures imposed by central government are not compensated for, leading to bigger class sizes, fewer subjects at A Level and a reduction in the number of staff.

This has been an issue I have been active on since it emerged last December.

The statement from The Kings School headteacher, Rob Gammon, is below:

Following the consultation on a new national funding formula last year which showed a reduction in the funding provided to The King’s School, the new funds provided by the DfE into schools is most welcome. The new funding will provide an additional 2.8% on top of our current budget for 2018-19 and a further 1.3% in 2019-20. Although this is positive news, the base funding for this year has meant reducing teaching and support staff in order to balance the books.

The pressure on public sector pay increases and the call for teachers and support staff to have a well-deserved increase above the 1% cap over recent years could result in this additional funding having negligible effect on the provision in classrooms should any additional funding not be provided to support salary increases. Schools across Devon have already suffered significant real terms cuts in recent years and this additional funding only does some way to minimising the cut.

The funding formula being proposed by the government remains unfair due to the disproportionate weighting applied to deprivation and whilst the consultation showed a majority of respondents disagreeing with the weighting applied, the government have retained the formula weighting. The “Funding Floor” of 3% (maximum schools nationally can drop in funding) continues to lock in the huge inequity between geographical areas across the UK which has no sound or rational basis and negated the intent of a “national” funding formula.

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