On Monday 26 March 2018, f40 held a conference in Westminster on the National Funding Formula (NFF), its implications for f40 members and how f40’s fair funding campaign should develop in the future.

The keynote speaker was Tony Foot, Director of the DfE’s Education Funding Group.

Besides hearing about the current government thinking on the National Funding Formula, there were sessions on the implications of NFF from a local authority and Schools Forum perspective, plus presentations on High Needs and Early Years. We also heard about three other campaigns fighting for fairer funding for schools.

The afternoon session was given over to consideration of what member authorities said in the recent Survey conducted by f40…and a general discussion about how f40’s campaign should be re-focused now that the NFF is being implemented.

Chairman’s introduction

Cllr Ivan Ould, Chair of f40 – a warm welcome to over 100 delegates who are obviously very interested and concerned about the NFF and where the f40 campaign goes in the future.

Section 1 – The National Funding Formula

Section 2: Views on school funding from other campaigning organisations

  • Key issues for implementing the new NFF – Julia Harnden, Funding Specialist, ASCL – presentation here.
  • WorthLess? – it’s not just about the money – Jules White, Head, Tanbridge House School, West Sussex – presentation here.
  • School funding: the parents’ perspective – Flora Page, Fair Funding for All Schools campaign – Flora did not use slides but gave a passionate plea for solidarity and collaboration from all interested organisations to achieve better funding for education. She said the country’s future depends on high quality education for all and any government that ignores this fact does so at its peril.

Section 3: The Future of f40’s Fair Funding Campaign

  • The f40 Members’ Survey – Margaret Judd, f40 Executive Committee and Sufficiency & Funding Team Manager, Dorset County Council – presentation here.
  • Notes of the conference including a discussion – Re-focusing the fair funding campaign – led by Cllr Ivan Ould and Margaret Judd – notes available here.