Campaign group f40, which represents the local authorities with the poorest funded schools in England, today gave a cautious welcome to the PM’s announcement that funding per pupil will not be cut in cash terms by a future Conservative government, but added that it is now even more imperative that fair funding is achieved as quickly as possible.
F40 Chair, Ivan Ould, who is also Lead Member for Children’s Services in Leicestershire, said: “The promise that there’ll be no cash cuts is fine, but that still leaves education budgets at the mercy of inflation, so in effect budgets will fall year on year.
“For those authorities that start off from a low level, this will be particularly tough, so it is now, more than ever, critically important that the government delivers on its promise of a new national funding formula that allocates a limited funding pot in a fairer fashion.
“The group has welcomed extra funding of £390m for 2015-16, which will see most of f40’s member authorities gaining, but that is just a down-payment, a first step towards a new and fairer allocation system. We now need to move quickly to a fairer allocations arrangement along the lines of the proposals we have recently presented to the Department for Education.
“Whichever political party is successful in May’s election, f40 will expect a commitment to fairer school funding.”
F40 has organised a special briefing in the House of Commons for backbench MPs across all the parties at 11am, 3 February 2015. The aim is to keep up the pressure for reform of the funding formula and to present to MPs a set of proposals that f40 has developed for a new school funding formula.