Funding has, of course, remained high on the agenda for both schools and government. The Department for Education (DfE) has denied media reports that it is intending to abandon the NFF, reiterating that consultation on the specific proposals is ongoing.
MPs from across the political spectrum have been calling on the government to change the proposed formula. Speaking on Radio 4’s Today programme on Friday 17 March, Conservative MP Geoffrey Clifton-Brown said that he had led a delegation of nine MPs to meet the prime minister and made it clear that the proposals would not be approved in their present form. During the House of Commons debate on the budget, Shadow Secretary of State for Education, Labour MP Angela Rayner, highlighted that the government has not kept its manifesto commitment to protect per pupil funding in real terms. Other Labour MPs, such as Helen Hayes, are encouraging their constituents to take action on the overall size of the schools budget.
“the DfE has made a number of decisions which are not supported (one way or another) by empirical evidence”, including on the basic per-pupil funding rate and the amount in the lump sum
the most disadvantaged schools and those with the highest proportion of English as an additional language (EAL) pupils are set to lose funding on average if they are in London and gain proportionately less if they are outside of London
“the combination of funding decisions, including the impact of increases to inflation, pupil numbers and pension costs, means that there are unlikely to be any schools which will not face real term cuts by 2019-20”
the DfE should clarify how funding will be distributed after 2019-20
The National Governors Association is finalising its response to the NFF consultation, which closes on 22 March. Many thanks to all of the governors and trustees who have been in touch to feed into the response.