As the gap between the ‘haves’ and the ‘have nots’ remains and in some cases continues to widen, f40 is campaigning to change the way the government allocates funding to local authorities and schools. The Group has the support of MPs, councillors, education directors, governors, head teachers, parents and teaching union representatives. f40 currently has 42 member authorities representing 2,817,857 pupils (35.9% of the total in England) in 9,002 schools (41%).
f40, which represents forty two of the lowest-funded education authorities in England, has campaigned for two decades for a new, fairer funding formula for the country’s schools.
As a result of our high profile campaigning, it is now accepted by most commentators that the existing school funding model is a mess. Funding for individual schools with similar pupil characteristics is inconsistent and unfair.
As a result, schools around the country that are similar can get very different budgets and children with the same needs can receive very different levels of financial help depending on where they go to school.
The Association of School and College Leaders (ASCL) has calculated that the 10 best–funded areas on average received grants of £6,297 per pupil, compared with an average of just £4,208 per pupil in the 10 most poorly funded areas.
That’s surely unfair and it’s why f40 is fighting for a fairer funding system. The government has recognised the problem and we warmly welcomed the announcement in the Chancellor’s 2015 Autumn Spending Review that at last firm proposals for a new and fairer national funding formula will be introduced.
The governments two-stage consultation on fair funding for schools closed on 22 March 2017 and in September 2017 the government announced a new National Funding Formula for introduction from 2018-19. f40 accepts the new formula as a first stage of the necessary change required, but will continue to campaign for further changes that will make the funding allocation arrangement much fairer for all schools and pupils.