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School Funding

Volume 407: debated on Monday 23 June 2003

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To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Skills how schools who have been allowed to use devolved capital for revenue purposes in order to set a balanced budget for 2003–04 will be compensated by his Department in subsequent years. [120399]

[holding answer 19 June 2003]: On 15 May 2003, my right hon. Friend, the Secretary of State, announced that in response to exceptional

Lancashire Local Education Authority
£ million
Recurrent Grant181021497095
Capital Funding131735383044

pressures this year on some school budgets he has decided to help schools manage their budgets by allowing them, in discussion with their Local Education Authorities (LEAs), to use their devolved capital funding to support their day-to-day running costs. This is to be for this year only and must be a decision taken by the school with the agreement of the LEA.

On 16 May 2003, my Department made detailed guidance available to schools and to LEAs to enable them immediately to discuss locally where this capital flexibility can be used. This guidance makes clear that schools which seek to use this flexibility would irrevocably forego their capital allocation. They would, therefore, lose the benefits over the longer term of the capital investment in their school buildings to pupil standards. This flexibility has an opportunity cost, and should only be used where failure to do so would lead to excessive instability within the school. We did not intend to increase the total funding available to any school.

My Department is working with representatives of local government and schools to consider what changes to the schools funding system are needed from 2004–05 to ensure that every school receives a reasonable per pupil settlement next year.

To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Skills what the total central Government funding for schools in Lancashire was in each year since 1995. [120469]

The following table shows the total education standard spending assessment (ESSA), recurrent and capital funding allocated to Lancashire Local Education Authority between 1997–98 and 2002–03, the years for which data is available on a likefor-like basis. The Department allocates funding for schools at local education authority level without specifying separate amounts for schools.