Inquiry launched into school and further education funding

The Education Committee has launched an inquiry into education funding to assess whether a longer-term plan is needed, rather than funding being driven by “Treasury processes”.

The inquiry will also look at what resources are required to ensure schools and colleges get the support they need, assess the effectiveness of targeted funding, such as the pupil premium, and examine how the new national funding formula will be implemented

While the Government is already reforming the way in which money is distributed to schools through the introduction of a national funding formula for schools, the spending review process will determine the overall level of public funding for schools and colleges.

Launching the inquiry, Rt Hon Robert Halfon MP, Chair of the Committee, said: "Young people are in compulsory education for around 13 years, yet government only plans investment in education every three or four years. We need to move to a situation where education funding is not driven primarily by Treasury processes but rather by a long-term strategic assessment of our national priorities for education and skills.

“Rising cost pressures faced by schools, sixth form and FE colleges have led to serious challenges in the provision of high quality education which can be a key driver for social justice and productivity. The Spending Review provides the Government with an opportunity to help close the funding gap and it is vital this process is informed by the views of parents, teachers and pupils.

“I hope our inquiry will help give ordinary people a role in creating a ten-year vision for education investment. The Prime Minister recently signalled a new approach to funding the NHS; I hope the Education Committee can help to make the case for a similar plan for expenditure on our schools and colleges.”

The Education Committee invites written submissions by Wednesday 30 May 2018 on the following issues:

What the Department for Education’s priorities should be for the next Spending Review period as they relate to schools and colleges.

Whether the spending review cycle is the best mechanism for determining overall expenditure on schools and colleges, and what that level should be.

The effectiveness of targeted funding such as the pupil premium, and its relationship to core education funding.

The practical implementation of the national funding formula.

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