Schools in some of the least fairly funded areas across Yorkshire and The Humber will soon benefit from a £16 million cash boost in the biggest step towards fairer schools funding in a decade, Schools Minister David Laws confirmed today.
In July, the Government published estimates of how an extra £390 million would be allocated to increase the budgets of the least fairly funded areas across the country, while ensuring no other local council’s per pupil funding would be reduced from its current level.
Today the Department for Education has published the final per-pupil funding allocations for 2015-16 for all local areas.
Areas across Yorkshire and The Humber, including Sheffield, North Yorkshire and Barnsley will all receive an increase in funding.
Schools Minister David Laws said: “Schools are absolutely crucial to our vision to build a stronger economy and a fairer society, so that everyone can reach their full potential.
“Without proper funding it’s impossible to give children a fair start in life.That’s why we are taking action to address the unfairness in school funding by allocating an additional £390 million to the least fairly funded areas in the country, whilst protecting schools budgets elsewhere.
“This is the biggest step towards fairer schools funding in a decade, meaning every local area will attract a minimum level of funding for its pupils and schools in 2015-16. Schools are also benefiting from an additional £2.5bn of extra funding through the pupil premium to help raise attainment amongst the most disadvantaged pupils.”
In March the Government announced that it would take action to tackle the unfair and complicated system of allocating local school funding, and launched a consultation on how to deliver a cash boost of £350 million to schools in the least fairly funded areas by setting minimum funding levels. Details of how an extra £390 million – £40 million more than was announced in March – was then announced in July.
Funding has been allocated to local areas on the basis of the characteristics of their pupils and schools, rather than on historical data that is out of date and no longer reflects pupils’ needs.
This will mean that in 2015-16 every local area will attract a minimum level of funding for each of its pupils and schools, making the distribution of funding to local areas much fairer. In every local area, this will mean, for example, that the most deprived pupils in primary schools will attract at least £4,454; in key stage 3 at least £5,820; and key stage 4 at least £6,372, and this will continue to be supplemented by further direct funding through the Pupil Premium – an additional £2.5bn of extra funding for schools to help raise attainment amongst their most disadvantaged pupils.
The publication of the final funding allocations for local areas today will build on the progress already made to ensure school funding is fair and transparent. Local authorities now allocate almost 90% of schools funding based on the needs of pupils compared with only 71% in 2012-13. These reforms will ensure an immediate increase to the least fairly funded local councils and will pave the way for the implementation of a national funding formula over the next Parliament.