School funding campaign group f40 today welcomed the launch of the long-awaited consultation on school funding and promised to continue the campaign for the best deal possible for schools in poorly funded areas.
“After 20 years of making the case for change we have finally reached the point where something concrete is to be done to give fairer funding to all children, no matter where they are educated”, said f40 Chairman, Councillor Ivan Ould.
“We have won the argument for fair funding and the end is nigh for the existing arbitrary and unfair system that has disadvantaged hundreds of thousands of children for too many years.
“It will be a relief to get rid of the irrational and unfair allocation arrangement that has created incredible inconsistencies in funding for individual schools with similar characteristics across the country”.
F40 Vice Chairman Graham Stuart MP, who has led a major Parliamentary campaign calling for reform throughout the last year, added: “It’s excellent news that ministers have unveiled their proposals to start delivering fair school funding, with the process hopefully beginning as early as next year. Tens of thousands of people up and down England signed Fair School Funding petitions last year, reflecting their desire to end a system where children have thousands of pounds less spent on their education if they happen to live in the wrong place – like the East Riding of Yorkshire.
“Establishing consistent core funding to which every pupil is entitled represents a huge step forward and shows ministers are delivering on their promises to end this long-standing unfairness. I now look forward to reviewing the proposals in detail with colleagues and funding experts. We need to keep up the momentum for this final crucial stage of the process and secure the best possible outcome.”
However, whilst f40 member authorities are delighted that fair funding is finally on the cards, there is dismay that their involvement in allocating funding to schools may be ended.
Ivan Ould said, “Local authorities have provided essential management and accountability to ensure the most appropriate allocation of resources in the light of local knowledge and experience. Taking local authorities out of the funding equation is not the answer and we will argue that this idea is unnecessary.”