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School Funding

Volume 406: debated on Thursday 12 June 2003

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To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Skills what modelling was done by his Department to test the new funding system for local authorities and schools, with particular reference to its impact at individual school level. [117872]

[holding answer 9 June 2003]: The Government's proposals for a new LEA funding system were first set out in the Local Authority Finance Green Paper of September 2000, and subsequently reconfirmed in last autumn's Schools White Paper and the Local Government White Paper. DfES and ODPM had extensive consultation with external partners throughout all of 2001 and most of 2002, with a three month consultation on a range of options carried out in July 2002. Building on the responses to the consultation, ODPM and DfES explored a large number of options for the distribution of Formula Grant and Education Formula Spending Shares between authorities before determining this year's settlement. In particular, we decided on a minimum like-for-like grant increase of 3.5 per cent. and a minimum like-for-like Education FSS increase of 3.2 per cent. per pupil to ensure that each education authority received a reasonable increase.Our analysis of options included a detailed assessment of the implications for each LEA and therefore it's schools necessary passporting requirements. However, decisions on council tax and disbursement of funding between schools is a matter for individual local authorities, subject to the general constraints contained in the Fair Funding regulations.

To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Skills how many schools there are for which education funding for the current academic year fails to cover standstill budgetary pressures, broken down by county. [117635]

Schools will face a range of budgetary pressures depending on a number of factors, namely the specific cost pressures which the school faces and the level of funding which it has received from its local authority.

Cost pressures vary school by school depending in particular on the staffing profile of the school and changing pupil numbers. Funding depends on decisions by central Government by LEAs.

The increase in funding for each school will depend on a number of factors covering both central and local government responsibility. These are the increase in funding given to the school's authority by central Government; the amount which the local authority decides to increase its Schools Budget by; the increase which the local authority decides to give to the Individual Schools Budget, as opposed to the items within the Schools Budget which are held centrally; and the operation of the local authority's formula which gives different increases to different schools.