Aims and objectives
Over the years f40's aim has been to influence a significant change in the way the government allocates funding to local authorities and schools. The allocations for primary and secondary pupils in the authorities in the f40 group are the lowest in the country.
Whilst f40 has welcomed the extra money allocated to education in recent years, it believes that adjustments to the formula have failed to address the fundamental problems inherent in the old system.
League tables showing the funding of all authorities in England clearly show how disadvantaged the poorest funded authorities are compared with those who are better funded. Despite minor changes to the funding system, the gap between the ‘haves’ and ‘have nots’ has widened.
f40 has always said that it wants to see a system which recognises the special needs of all LAs whether they are in urban, rural or inner London locations. Fundamentally we want a system which allows the lowest funded councils to catch up.
The Pupil Premium, introduced in April 2011, has not created the shift in allocations of funding required to fundamentally change the position of the poorest funded authorities and schools. There continues to be inequity and unfairness in the system.
The School Funding Reform consultation held in October 2011, was a watershed for f40's campaign. It clearly demonstrated that the government has recognised that a new, fairer and more transparent school funding system is needed.
Despite this acknowledgement of f40's case, the Secretary of State announced that the government would take no action to change the situation in advance of the next elections in 2015. Naturally, f40 reacted angrily to this and called the decision unjust and totally unacceptable. A subsequent proposal for a small uplift in funding for the poorest local authorities was rejected.
It is now perfectly clear that the argument for fair funding is won, but we must wait a few more years for the long awaited change that we have campaigned for.
As promised, we will work with Ministers and the Department fro Education on the details of a new national formula.