On Monday 23 January the Public Accounts Committee held an oral evidence session on the Financial Sustainability of Schools. The panel consisted of Jonathan Slater, Permanent secretary of the Department for Education, Tony Foot, Director of the Education Funding Group at the Department of Education, and Chief Executive of the Education Funding Agency, Peter Lauener. The panel heard from witnesses consisting of three Headteachers, and the General Secretary of the National Association of Headteachers, Russel Hobby.
Some of the key points raised were;
Concerns about the sustainability of schools and their ability to offer what should be core services to their pupils.
While the Department for Education has improved and increased the materials it produces to support schools to use funds more efficiently and effectively, these are not communicated well.
The Department of Education is operating in silos: its funding approach is not working hand in hand with those looking at school organisation they are wanting to encourage schools to group together, but the funding proposals do not incentivise this, in fact they make it more sensible for schools to remain as single entities.