Formula to overhaul school funding and make sums fairer is confirmed

Education secretary Justine Greening visits City College Norwich.
PHOTO: Nick Butcher

Education secretary Justine Greening visits City College Norwich. PHOTO: Nick Butcher - Credit: Nick Butcher

'Historic reforms' designed to make school funding fairer in areas which have traditionally lagged behind - including Norfolk and Suffolk - have been confirmed.

Under the new national funding formula (NFF), money will be distributed according to the individual needs of each school, education secretary Justine Greening said.

Ms Greening told the Commons the changes were needed to address 'historic inequities in funding that have existed for far too long'.

She said: 'This is an historic reform. It means for the first time the resources that the Government is investing in our schools will be distributed according to a formula based on the individual needs and characteristics of every school in the country.

MORE: New school funding system 'stands to be good for Norfolk''Not only will the NFF direct resources where they are most needed, helping to ensure that every child can get the high quality education that they deserve wherever they live, it will also provide that money through a transparent formula.'

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Initially, local authorities will distribute final sums to schools, though this will not be the case after 2020.

The scheme is designed to make funding fairer for areas which have traditionally received less per pupil than others - including Norfolk and Suffolk.

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Ms Greening said that the £1.3bn in extra funding for schools she announced in the summer meant overall budgets would rise by around £2.6bn in total from almost £41bn in 2017/18 to around £42.4bn in 2018/19 and £43.5bn in 2019/20.

MORE: The sums don't add up - Norfolk and Suffolk headteachers warn of stretched budgetsShe said she was increasing the basic level of funding that schools would get for each pupil, and that under the formula, the minimum per pupil funding level in 2019/20 for secondary schools would be at least £4,800 per pupil.

For primaries in England it would be £3,500 by 2019/20.

There will also be a £110,000 lump sum for every school to help with fixed costs, the department said, and an additional £26m to rural and isolated schools to help them manage their unique challenges.

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