Fairer funding formula to come into effect by 2019

A new fairer funding formula for schools is set to come into effect by 2019, with the aim of creating a fairer and more transparent system.

The ‘Educational Excellence Everywhere’ white paper outlines that all schools’ individual budgets will be set by the new national formula, instead of the current system of 152 localised formulae.

The paper stresses that the change will not mean ‘moving everyone to an average’, clarifying that disadvantaged pupils will get more funding and that schools in disadvantaged areas will receive more per pupil.

The Department for Education (DfE) has set out four ‘building blocks’ for the new formula. The first is a basic per-pupil formula, which will be weighted by age. The second is funding for additional pupil needs, which includes whether a pupil comes from a disadvantaged background, if their prior attainment is low or if English is not their first language.

The third block is a lump sum payment, which will provide extra funding for small schools in sparsely populated areas who can struggle to reduce costs. The fourth is an adjustment for geographical location, which will take into account how school’s costs are effected by their location.

To ensure a ‘smooth transition’, there will be a two year period where local authorities will continue to set local formula before the new plans are implemented, with the DfE promising to offer practical support to schools that may require particular help.

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