Lincolnshire schools could be set for £4.6m funding boost

Coun Patricia Bradwell.
Coun Patricia Bradwell.

Government plans to end the ‘historical postcode lottery’ in school funding means Lincolnshire could be in line for an extra £4.6 million (2.3 per cent) a year.

The extra funding for nurseries, primary, secondary, and special schools across the county – following a reform of the funding system announced by the Government – is due to take effect in 2018-19.

Education secretary Justine Greening described reforms to its £85.2 billion education spending programme as ‘an end to historical unfairness and underfunding for certain schools’.

Under the reforms, more than 10,000 schools in semi-urban and rural counties such as Lincolnshire, Somerset, Devon and Derbyshire, could see an increase in education funding of up to three per cent.

Details of how schools funding would be shaken up were announced by the Government before Christmas, including moves to a ‘national funding formula’ whereby no school will see its annual cash pot per pupils cut by more than 1.5 per cent.

Based on estimates by education website www.schoolsweek.co.uk of how much the new National Funding Formula will either cost or benefit education authorities in England from 2018, Lincolnshire stands to again an extra 2.3 per cent a year.

This figure, ranked by the website as the seventh biggest change upwards in England, would mean an extra £4.6 million to spend on schools in Lincolnshire, based on the 2016/17 Dedicated Schools Grant figure of £497,222,269.

Outlining the reforms, Ms Greening said: “We need a system that funds schools according to the needs of their pupils rather than their postcode, levelling the playing field and giving parents the confidence that every child will have an equal opportunity to reach their full potential.”

“Our proposed reforms will mean an end to historical unfairness and underfunding for certain schools.”

Coun Patricia Bradwell, executive member for children’s services at Lincolnshire County Council, said: “This is welcome news for our schools as we are one of the lowest funded authorities in the country.

“We have been campaigning for a fairer funding allocation for some years because it can’t be right that authorities in other parts of the country get more money to pass on to schools due to historical allocations.”

She added: “We were very disappointed when the new Secretary of State for Education delayed the proposed national funding formula, originally set for 2017, for another year.

“This is long overdue and we will be making our strong views known in any consultation leading up to the changes.

“A fairer funding allocation is what our schools deserve.”

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