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Secondary schools face £291,000 real-terms cut

Secondary schools face £291,000 real-terms cut

New research by the think-tank Education Policy Institute (EPI) has forecast a real-terms funding reduction for all schools by 2019/20 - with half facing budget cuts of between 6% - 11%.

Even with the introduction of a new National Funding Formula (NFF), every school in England is set to see real-terms cuts in funding by 2019/20.

The estimated funding pressures amount to an average real-terms loss of £74,000 per primary school and £291,000 per secondary school. This equates to almost two teachers in an average primary school and six teachers in an average secondary school.

The report is the latest piece of evidence to emerge warning of drastic real-terms cuts to school funding and has been published as the government's second consultation over the structure of the NFF closed.

The current NFF proposals set out 13 factors spread over four blocks that would dictate schools funding under:
  • Block A: Basic per-pupil funding will account for 73 per cent of the schools block. The proposed values for each of the key stages are £2,712 for key stages 1 and 2, £3,797 for key stage 3, and £4,312 for key stage 4
  • Block B: Additional needs factors will be used to allocate 18 per cent of the funding and will incorporate deprivation factors for pupils on free school meals, pupils who have been eligible for FSM in the last six years (Ever6 FSM), and an area-based deprivation factor - IDACI. There are six IDACI bands determined by data from the national deprivation index
  • Block C: School-led factors represent the remaining nine per cent of the allocation and include a fixed lumped sum of £110,000 for every school
  • Block D: Area cost adjustment funding will reflect the variation in labour market costs in different regions

The study concludes that the Department for Education (DfE) is "right to proceed with a new schools funding formula and that it has resisted pressure to skew funding significantly towards the lowest funded areas, which might have been politically convenient but which would have shifted significant amounts of money away from disadvantaged areas, where attainment gaps are large".

But even schools that benefit from the NFF changes will be "unlikely" to see increased resource. The report adds: "We estimate that once inflation and other pressures are taken into account, all schools in England are likely to see real-terms cuts in funding per-pupil over the next three years.

Source: Sec Ed

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