Changes to school funds

Progress on changes to the way schools in Nottinghamshire will be funded from April 2013 will be discussed by Nottinghamshire County Council on Monday, July 16.

The idea behind the Government’s plan for a funding overhaul is to make the system fairer, more transparent and easier to understand for local authorities, schools and academies.

This will be done by simplifying local funding arrangements so that funding is based on pupil numbers and their needs, whether they are mainstream school-aged pupils, pre-school children or those with special educational needs or disability.

Children and young people committee chairman councillor Philip Owen said: “We are currently working with the Forum on agreeing proposals for a consultation in September with all schools, academies and early years providers in the private, voluntary and independent sectors on how the new system will work.”

And in line with the incoming changes, membership of the Forum will change to reflect the expected make-up of pupil populations at schools and academies this September.

The schools funding allocation for Nottinghamshire for the 2013/14 financial year will be confirmed by Government before Christmas once October’s pupil census has been verified.

The Government has set local authorities a list of criteria to apply when distributing the funding – these factors include a basic per pupil entitlement, levels of deprivation, high incidence special educational needs and where English is an additional language. However, councils have a degree of flexibility in the way they can do this.

“We want to retain as much financial stability as possible for schools and limit any turbulence for them with changes being made within such a tight timescale. So we’re aiming to get a system in place which both complies with Government regulations and delivers funding in the most effective and efficient way to meet the local needs of all schools and academies,” added councillor Owen.