Lancashire’s schools are in line for a multi-million pound cash injection after a surprise windfall.
County Hall chiefs say”careful financial management” plus growth in some sources of funding, means that there is more money in the pot than expected for the coming year.
It will be used to increase the amount of money allocated per pupil in both secondary and primary schools as ensure more cash is available for areas including special needs and the under fives.
The 2013-14 schools budget for Lancashire, which stands at more than £827m, has been approved by Coun Susie Charles, cabinet member for children and Schools
The budget had earlier been given the seal of approval by the Lancashire Schools Forum.
Made up from teachers, governors and other educational representatives, the group shapes and influences school funding policy.
Chairman, school governor and former headteacher John Davies, said he was delighted to see more cash being ploughed into schools and added: : “We can be well pleased with this settlement for Lancashire, given the national picture. More than 70% of schools will be seeing an improvement in their budgets.
“The county council has been able to save nearly £1m from their central allocation and that in itself is cause for congratulation.
“We will see the benefits of this additional funding in years to come. This is good news for the county.”
Susie Charles added: “To be able to sign off a budget in these difficult times which actually contains additional money is wonderful.
“Every pound that we can save or bring into the county goes straight to where it is needed most, including those at the very start of their education – where foundations are laid for future success – and those who have the most significant additional needs.”
As well as savings from the county council’s central budget, the £10.5m extra funding has come from increased funding for pupils with special needs and medical conditions, more provision for under-fives and an overall growth in pupil numbers.
The money will also help towards safeguarding children and addressing the impact of domestic abuse on children and young people as part of the Lancashire Improving Futures project.