Schools hope for more money after chancellor confirms introduction of new funding system
- Credit: PA
Our region's schools will be hoping for a funding boost after the chancellor confirmed a new national funding formula would be introduced to end the current post code lottery.
Despite top-up funding to address funding difference between the regions in the current year, Norfolk still receives £117 per pupil less than the England average, while Suffolk is £269 below.
A consultation will begin in 2016, before the changes come into effect in 2017-18.
George Nobbs, leader of Norfolk County Council, said: 'We will be pressing the case for the government to right a wrong that has existed for too long and to fully recognise costs of providing school places in sparsely populated areas such as Norfolk are inevitably higher than in most other places.'
The spending review represented the latest stage in the government's ambition for all schools to become academies - state-funded schools that are independent of the local authority, and Treasury documents said: 'The government will reduce the local authority role in running schools and remove a number of statutory duties.'
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Mr Osborne also announced that sixth form colleges would be allowed to become academies, allowing them to recover non-business VAT costs.
Catherine Richards, principal of East Norfolk Sixth Form College, said VAT cost it hundreds of thousands of pounds, and it would study the details of the new policy. She added: 'We welcome the news we will be able to become an academy, because our financial situation has always been less favourable then school sixth forms.'
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The chancellor maintained the pupil premium, which gives schools additional funding for children from disadvantaged backgrounds.
Further education fared better than predicted.
Corrienne Peasgood, principal of City College Norwich, said she was waiting to see the full details, but added: 'The fact the core funding rate for 16-19 year olds in cash terms, has been protected, indicates that the government recognises the key role colleges play in providing the skills needed for a strong and more productive economy.'