19 March 2014

Although the Government has announced a £350 million increase in the education budget in 2015/16, the Association of School and College Leaders claims that schools will be no better off because they will also have to deal with a 2.3% increase in pension contributions and a possible 1% increase in teachers’ salaries which will cost around £340 million.

The Association of Teacher and Lecturers also points out that there is no indication where the £350 million so-called “boost to schools” will come from, and comments that this “pales into insignificance” when compared with the £1.5 billion spent on 170 free schools.

In tandem with the budget rise, the Government has scrapped its plans to introduce a national funding formula before the next general election, which means that schools in different local authorities will continue to receive different amounts of funding per pupil.

However, Schools Minister David Laws emphasised that, because of earlier reforms, the system is already fairer, with 80% of the new funds being allocated to boost schools in the “least fairly funded local authorities” rather than “simply on the basis of historic levels of spending”.

He explained: “Given the importance to schools of stability and certainty in these difficult economic times, we have decided not to set out a multi-year process of converging all local authorities towards a single funding formula.”