Information and action for everyone
On 26 March 2012 the Secretary of State published School funding reform: Next steps towards a fairer system. This explains how the Department for Education plans to proceed until the end of the current spending review period and invites views on areas where there are different options. It sets out plans for reforming funding arrangements for pupils and students with high level support needs including those up to age 25 in the FE sector.
The document covers a wide number of areas and we would encourage all providers, especially those with learners with learning difficulties and disabilities, to familiarise themselves with the proposals and respond to the questions raised.
Key points from the document include:
We will work towards introducing a national funding formula in the next spending review period. To help ensure minimal turbulence to schools and academies in the interim, the Minimum Funding Guarantee will continue to be set at minus 1.5 per cent for 2013-14 and 2014-15.
Local funding arrangements will be simplified. The reforms will mean that local funding formulae are made simpler, more consistent and transparent.
We will make changes to schools forums’ composition and operation so that their business is more transparent and decisions better reflect the views of providers.
The Education Funding Agency (EFA) will play a strong role in ensuring fairness within the new system.
We will introduce a new methodology for funding high need pupils and students which will provide a consistent approach to funding across all types of providers, and ensure funding flows with the individual. This will ensure that high needs provision in the school, FE and alternative provision sectors will be funded on a broadly similar basis, and that local authorities have a single 'high needs block' from which to commission all high needs provision for young people from birth to 25.
The funding of early years provision will be simplified and made more transparent.
Over the next few months, local authorities will need to start putting in place arrangements for simplifying their formulae and supporting FE and independent post-16 providers to deliver the reforms. Operational guidance to support local authorities in this process has been issued in parallel to this document and is available as a download below. We will also publish a formula tool on our website for use by local authorities.