Black mark for “fairer funding” plan

Simon Jones, on the executive of the National Union of Teachers
Simon Jones, on the executive of the National Union of Teachers
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Lancashire’s teachers leaders fear government plans to radically overhaul school funding will have serious affects on the county.

The Government is consulting on education reforms announced by Education Secretary Nicky Morgan to provide a “ national funding formula to ensure every school will have funding matched to need.”

Under proposals published for consultation on Monday, the Government has started the process of introducing a national funding formula from 2017 to 2018.

From 2019-2020, funding will go straight to schools, removing the role of local education authorities in determining how funding for schools is allocated.

Lancashire’s county executive member of the National Union of Teachers Simon Jones said extra money was needed in the state education sector.

He added: “Schools are already suffering real terms cuts to per pupil funding, at the same time as having to cope with the significant additional costs imposed on schools through pensions and National Insurance changes.

“Many schools are already cutting back on staff and increasing class sizes.

“Teachers’ pay continues to fall behind other graduate professions despite increasing problems with teacher recruitment and retention.”

He said schools were underfunded and added: “ Any reform of school funding must be on the basis of significant additional funding and reversal of the Government’s funding cuts.”

A spokesman for the NASUWT added: “Diminishing further the important contribution of local authorities could make it much more difficult to deliver the additional support schools need when they need it.

The National Association of Headteachers wants to see reform and has produced an in-depth report with “contributions from the front line of teaching, along with expert voices from within politics and education policy.”

However, it says school leaders should be “in the driving seat.”

THe GMB union, which looks after school support staff, said the move would also affect members and regional organiser Karen Leonard said: “ Our school system’s hidden professionals do a fantastic job in schools supporting and teaching children, day in, day out. But their pay, terms and conditions are going backwards, not forwards.”