School growth funding due to be discussed at Schools Forum next week

Grace Witherden

Grace Witherden

School growth funding due to be discussed at Schools Forum next week

A report about school funding is set to be discussed at the council’s Schools Forum on Tuesday.

The paper sets out the proposed funding approach for 2016-2017, 2017-2018 and 2018-2019 and includes comments from all of the affected schools.

If approved, the council would change the criteria for schools to be eligible for growth funding.

Local authorities can ‘topslice’ the dedicated schools grant to create a growth fund which is used to support maintained and academy schools which are required to provide extra places to meet the basic need.

The growth fund is only designed to support a school temporarily and was introduced in the borough for 2013-2014.

The proposed scheme for the next three years would see schools only eligible for growth funding when the decision to provide an extra class or expansion in the number of places is agreed in advance with the council and must be related to basic need.

The report considers an ‘approach to fairer funding’.

It states: “The proposal has to accommodate the different types of school and the different scales of expansion over time while being ‘fair’.”

Under the new scheme, five schools would face a ‘clawback’; one would see a reduced allocation and four schools would not receive any growth funding despite having additional pupils.

If the council adopts this approach it will mean schools with an expectation of receiving funding will now receive a lower level than previous years.

A total of 12 schools have responded to the proposed funding changes, including Furze Platt Junior school and Furze Platt Senior School.

The report states Furze Platt Junior School will be ‘worse off’ and it would have a ‘massive impact on the school’.

The forum will meet in the council chamber at 2.30pm.

To read the full report visit the council website at: 

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