Local schools stand to lose nearly £1.5m under new funding formula

All local schools are set to lose out under the government's new formula for funding which aims to introduce a more fair system.

The government is proposing to introduce a National Funding Formula in 2018-19, a year later that the original implementation date, which is designed to deliver a transparent funding system where the amount of funding children attract for their schools is based on need and is consistent across the country.

However, the new system will result in a cut in budget for every primary school in Alderley Edge, Nether Alderley, Wilmslow Handforth, Styal, Chelford, Mobberley and Mottram St Andrew as well as Wilmslow High School.

In total the schools in these areas would be £1,457,000 worse off if the government introduced the proposed National Funding Formula.

Alderley Edge Community Primary School would be £20,000 worse off under the new scheme, whilst Wilmslow High School would see its budget slashed by £190,000.

James Pullé, Headteacher at Wilmslow High School, said "Given that we were already the 6th lowest funded Local Authority area in England it still seems unbelievable that the funding provided to Cheshire East should actually be reduced by the proposed National Funding Formula.

"As has been said by others, if the proposed National Funding Formula is implemented alongside the unfunded increases in employer costs that are already scheduled then, according to the recent National Audit Office calculations, schools in Cheshire East will have to make savings of over 10% on their current budgets.

"Although Wilmslow High School has an excellent track record of developing additional funding streams and finding efficiency savings through careful management of our resources, over the next few years we will have to make some very difficult choices if the proposed National Funding Formula is not changed."

Cheshire East headteachers intend to develop a coordinated response to the proposed National Funding Formula and we will be meeting to start this process shortly.

In the meantime a delegation of ten people from Cheshire East schools, the local authority and MPs met with the Minister for Schools Nick Gibb on Monday, 9th January, to discuss the recent proposals from the National Funding Formula.

The meeting with the minister was a result of the speech by Fiona Bruce MP in the Commons in December, highlighting the difficulties faced by schools in Cheshire East following the recent announcement of the national funding formula.

It had been hoped that, after several years of poor funding, the borough's schools would have received a greater contribution and this was discussed with the minister.

Cheshire East Leader Rachel Bailey said: "I acknowledge the work and support of our local MPs and schools. Cheshire East Council is committed to continue to work with schools to develop options to present to the minister as part of the consultation.

"This is to ensure we protect the outstanding education and skills offer across Cheshire East.

"Our children and young people have a right to at least the same minimum national curriculum offer and opportunities which other similar schools and authorities will have.

"We are extremely proud of all our schools and we wish to do all we can to help them to continue to deliver the very high standard of education that has rewarded many of our schools with good or outstanding Ofsted ratings."

After hearing of the many concerns expressed by the delegation, the Minister gave a clear commitment to work with the local authority, Cheshire East schools and MPs to explore a number of potential avenues to address the current funding situation as part of the ongoing consultation process, which would continue until March.

The meeting was described as focused and productive, the minister listened to the range of reasoned points, including the inequality of the proposed funding, the seriously damaging effect on curriculum provision, the attendant drop in teaching standards, vastly reduced extra-curricular opportunities for children and the economic reality of the unsustainable financial viability of schools in Cheshire East.

Photo: Alderley Edge Community Primary School. 

The delegation that travelled down to London comprised of Fiona Bruce MP; David Rutley MP; Antionette Sandbach MP; Cllr Rachel Bailey, Leader Cheshire East Council; Jacky Forster Director of Education CEC; John Leigh, headteacher Sandbach High School; David Hermitt, headteacher Congleton High School; Sara Burns, headteacher Sandbach School; Richard Middlebrook, headteacher Alsager School and Ed O'Neill, headteacher Eaton Bank Academy.



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Harry Martin
Tuesday 31st January 2017 at 4:00 pm
It is a shame when staff , pupils and parents work together to make these state schools so great then funding is cut . School is so much more to a child than just academic learning . Is this to encourage parents with slight doubt to fund private education as some of these schools are struggling themselves to survive despite high fees ? There is much to suspect No money for this and that is as we all know is used as the easiest cop out.