I fully agree with the principle behind the Government's proposals which aims to ensure ensure that every school and local area, regardless of location, are fairly funded according to need. However, due to the nature, of the area we live in, I am concerned about the impact this will have on West Oxfordshire's schools.
I have therefore been strongly lobbying for the creation of an essential funding level that will ensure all schools have the essential funding they need. All schools regardless of location, have these essential costs need they need funding for, regardless of location and number of pupils.
The formula would mean that those with the highest need will get the most funding and ensures that all children get access to the education they deserve. A single national funding formula for schools will remove the role of the local authority, with funding going straight to the frontline, giving headteachers more certainty over budgets.
Under the current proposals, around half the schools in West Oxfordshire would see their funding reduced, and the other half would see it increase or stay the same. The proposals also include a measure which would mean that the maximum funding decrease a school can face as a result of the new formula is capped at 3% per pupil.
As West Oxfordshire is fortunate to be a relatively affluent area with low levels of deprivation, its level of funding is impacted. The area is most impacted by many of our village schools not being rural enough to qualify for sparsity funding. All of these factors receive a certain weighting in the formula.
I invite all interested parties to respond to the consultation on the Schools National Funding Formula here. This closed on 22nd March 2017.