In 2016-17 f40 developed a school funding model in an attempt to persuade the government that a needs-led approach to school funding is the way forward. We had hoped that the model might have influenced the thinking behind the National Funding Formula, but of course we now know this wasn’t to be the case.
Regardless, f40 has persevered with the model and updated each year to reflect current data on school finances and to reflect the national discussion and changing landscape of school funding. We believe this is important as the model is the only one of its kind in existence – a bottom-up calculation – and it provides a useful basis for real school costs.
We recently presented the updated modelling and supporting narrative to the Funding Policy Unit at the Department foe Education and they acknowledged that it is a valid and intellectually sound, and is clear and easily understood.
There are 5 tabs in the spreadsheet:
- AWPU & Lump 2016-18 summary – this provides the calculations for the AWPU and lump sum and is the main sheet. Working down the rows should be self-explanatory, but Margaret can always answer questions.
- Summary of values – includes all the values for the AWPU lump and rest of the formula over the years 2015-16 – 2019-20 (5 years). These are the values to be used in the f40 formula, they could be plugged into a DfE version of the all schools spreadsheet and hopefully they will come up with the same answers that we do. (It should be remembered that an underlying principle of our formula is no MppFL or floor, so it will need to be the correct comparison).
- Yearly summaries is fixed summaries by year of the totals for every school added together (from the big spreadsheet we have, which the DfE can have a copy of, but they should have their own version that should give the same answers – see above). The £2.3billion is seen in row 67.
- Salary Scales – is a summary of the salary scales used over the years. The teachers’ pay is from published information e.g. Teachers Pay and Conditions Document. The non-teaching staff pay is an average of pay in LAs and job adverts published for non-teaching staff (not through agencies, only LA/school direct adverts). On-costs are published information or a survey of LAs. Non-teaching staff costs are a best estimate – there is no right or wrong answer, but they are reasonable figures.
- Exam fees – this is information taken from the benchmarking database for a random sample of 11-16 schools (to remove any bias of 6th form examination costs).
Using all this provides us with the shortfall in funding in the schools block of £2.3bn in 2018-19. We have just been informed about the teachers’ pension grant which will be £848m from September 2019 to March 2020, leaving a funding gap at £2.3 billion for the financial year 2019-20. This is included in the calculations at row 60 in the Yearly Summaries tab.