Today’s news reviews looks at an opinion piece from former Education Secretary Michael Gove on school funding.
Michael Gove on school funding
The Times ran an opinion piece today from former Education Secretary Michael Gove. This is amid further coverage today on school funding following a report from the Education Policy Institute (EPI).
Gove defends the Government’s introduction of a new national funding formula, reiterates that school funding has been protected in real terms, and argues that we need to see greater efficiencies in day-to-day school spending.
His main points are summarised below. You can also read the full article here (£).
- Core school funding: The Government has prioritised education funding, protecting it in real terms.
- National funding formula: There have been consistent demands, for more than forty years, that historic unfairness in school funding is redressed.
- Pupil premium: A pupil premium fund worth £2.5 billion a year was created to give the poorest children extra support. Over the past forty years inflation-adjusted spending per pupil has almost doubled.
- School standards: More schools than ever before are ranked good and outstanding by Ofsted, even as the inspection criteria have become more demanding . Grade inflation has been ended and the teaching profession is attracting more talented people.
- Cost efficiencies: Amid a squeeze on public spending, the best academy trusts are making efficiencies.
As Michael Gove points out, school funding has been protected in real terms since 2010; but of course we understand that schools are facing cost pressures. That is why we are continuing to help them use their funding in more efficient ways. Our new School Buying Strategy is designed to help schools save over £1bn a year by 2019-20 on non-staff spend.
Minister for School Standards Nick Gibb said:
School funding is at its highest level on record at more than £40bn in 2016-17 and is set to rise to £42bn in 2019-20 with increasing pupil numbers. Our proposed new funding formula schools will help end historical unfairness so schools are funded according to their pupils’ needs, rather than by their postcode, with more than half set to receive a cash boost.
Of course we recognise that schools are facing cost pressures, which is why we will continue to help them use their funding in cost effective ways without affecting educational outcomes, including by improving the way they buy goods and services.
We are consulting schools, governors, local authorities and parents to make sure we get this formula right, so that every pound of the investment we make in education has the greatest impact.