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How should school budgets be allocated?

03:13 UK time, Saturday, 13 November 2010

The Department for Education is considering introducing a "national funding formula" to decide the allocation of school budgets in England. Should school budgets be allocated by a "national funding formula"?

Officials said this did not mean local authorities, currently responsible for allocating funds, would be sidelined.

The move follows government concerns that many local council formulas currently used to decide how to allocate the so-called dedicated schools grant are out of date and do not recognise changes in schools in recent years.

Should school budgets be allocated by a "national funding formula"? How do you think such a change would affect schools funding? How would your local schools be affected by such a change?

This debate is closed. Thank you for your comments.

Comments

Page 1 of 3

  • Comment number 1.

    Once again the Government looks to apply a "one size fits all" system in place in attempts to cut costs, despite the fact the system they wish to put in place probably will not work at all schools and will no doubt cause chaos in those places where it doesn't work. Taking this funding away from LEAs will mean that decisions on funding will be made by people who don't get the chance to inspect the schools in person and will have only facts and figures on which to base their decisions.

    Following the proposed increase in tuition fees at university level, and coupled with the reduction in teaching grants, it seems to be quite clear that this coalition Government does not see education as being anywhere near as important as it should be.

    If they are serious about pushing this legislation through then I think they really need to be looking at a small-scale trial to road-test it, otherwise it'll be another expensive change that will need to be put right in the future costing more money.

  • Comment number 2.

    The Big Society is in danger of resolving itself into more government control, with management merely delegated to local people.

    If the Big Society is to mean anything it should be genuine localisation, and on a democratic basis. That may mean many local variations in how things are done, and exactly how funds are allocated.

    We already have elected Local Authorities.

  • Comment number 3.

    If MPs can side step any set criteria for their expenses, pensions and pay awards why should Primary and Secondary Schools have their budgets cut in a supposed review to pay for MPs life style.
    The phrase we are all in this together is wearing a bit thin and sounding far too rich when a glib MP and PM gives us the big lecture of how the UK cannot afford to pay for a childs education because of the lack of funds.
    This is just an excuse to restrict the education of those who cannot afford private fees so that there is less competiton in the job market for those who can.

  • Comment number 4.

    Too many are taken in with the pledge of schools not losing out, to date my school will lose 40% of the £15M promised to upgrade our bulidings, not even build new. All this a matter of weeks away from financial close. We serve pupils living in the 3 most deprived wards in Leeds, the very pupils, families and communities it is suggested will benefit from the changes to pupil premiums.

    Centralising funding, whilst giving choice to schools, removes the services provided and thus will require outsourcing and tendering for these seervices again. When will it be accepted that this is all a move to ease the embarrassment that there has not been the surge to Academy and Free school status. Slashing BSF another unfair move to fund the Government drive to fund schools and budgets only if joining their Academy agenda.

    Mr Goves would be well served to visit some of these areas he is impacting on and get out of the privaledged ivory tower he is used to. My pupils deserve better, to supplement their desire for learning and more genuine fairness in the society that knocks them at every turn.

  • Comment number 5.

    Basically a very good idea ,providing the School has the capability to plan and budget .

    What happens at the moment , some councils divert schooling funding into other council dept. If school are allowed to determine their budget and spending if would save money that would have been spent in council education departments..

    There is just one concern that is the way in which new labour allowed schools to be built and RENTED back to the council.. Will that now be other new labour millstone...

    The way the last government left office .burden with debt ... may well lead to state schools becoming psuedo private , but Universities becoming private What was it EDUCATION EDUCATION EDUCATION .... really

  • Comment number 6.

    All this user's posts have been removed.Why?

  • Comment number 7.

    Don't you mean a England only funding formula?

    The question that should really be asked is why does England has to make such changes to it's education funding when Scotland and Wales does not?

    The answer is the Barnett equation should also be revaluated because of the funding differences between Scotland England Wales and Northern Ireland that has allowed the devolved governments to have greater UK wide funding per capita.

  • Comment number 8.

    Who cares?
    Its not like today's rug rats are getting a decent education is it?
    How a rubbish education is funded is scraping the barrel for an HYS.

  • Comment number 9.

    All this user's posts have been removed.Why?

  • Comment number 10.

    Oh Dear!
    Government "radical overhaul" of education ....yet again.
    We have seen the effect of the initiatives over the past 20 years or more. More disaffected teachers and learners. Declining standards. Grade inflation. Fads and fashions. Please politicians...stay away from education.

  • Comment number 11.

    All this user's posts have been removed.Why?

  • Comment number 12.

    The Gopvernment should pay the same ammount per child to all authorities, including those of Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland, regardless. If the local population needs special teachers for those who do not speak English then that should be funded by those communities. It is time to stop pandering to the immigrants and let those who wish to come here pay for those services that they need.

  • Comment number 13.

    To give an example of why this is an important change, I am a governor of a medium-sized secondary school in South London. We sit just on the edge of a local authority border, with another similar sized school about a mile away in a different borough. Our intakes are the same, yet they receive around £1 million more per year because their funding is calculated by a different local authority formula. That is around 15% difference in budget just by accident of location.

    We all complain about postcode lotteries affecting our children's ability to get into different schools, yet the same postcode lottery applies to the funding of our schools.

    I for one am looking forward to a consistent funding formula that recognises the needs of all schools and isn't subject to opaque variations at a local level.

  • Comment number 14.

    How should school budgets be allocated?


    Under a new government!

  • Comment number 15.

    All this user's posts have been removed.Why?

  • Comment number 16.

    No doubt the Department for Education will 'consult' with other organisations/bodies to discuss the best way forward. There is already a shortage in terms of funding all round, but pupils are discriminated against by legislation that has already been put in place!

    Eg. A deaf child with British Sign Language may be given a Teaching Assistant that has the ability to sign, but the lack of funding in place can mean that the role may be filled by someone that has to accept that the pay is extremely low pay compared to the amount of years it has taken to train as an 'interpreter', or, as may be the case, people are taking the job and learning skills as they go along. This means of course that the deaf child may have insufficient access whilst the TA is learning - this could take years!

    What I find scandalous is that someone can train as a Teacher of the Deaf without having to have any sign language skills at all! This country is stuck in the days of 1880 when legislation was passed for deaf education without consultation with the people who it would affect.

    I have no doubt at all that there are fantastic, dedicated and resourceful Teaching Assistants in mainstream classrooms who are trying their best to ensure the education of deaf children does not suffer. I hope that the consultation gives opportunity for discussion - but with people who really know what the situation is like, not people sat in a board room who really don't have a clue about the realities of their decisions. These people are accountable and need to wake up to the fact that their decisions not only affect the budget of the school, but an individual's whole life.

    Whilst there are issues all round, there are also many specific issues about groups that get left behind in these big changes. The Equality Act 2010 is already broken by the Department of Education itself - it's a joke.

  • Comment number 17.

    Government should let Oxbridge set the national curriculum, let the l.e.a's spend the money, and calculate funds based on regional need. A school in Scotland is obviously colder and needs more maintenance than say a School in Devon, and a School in Newham is going to have more language needs than say one in Keswick. You have a basic national calculation, but there must be room for regional top-ups.

  • Comment number 18.

    All this user's posts have been removed.Why?

  • Comment number 19.

    a big society has to start with the local society
    this may mean people living in a community with their children going to their nearest local school and supporting that school or raising issues if they are concerned about.

    to achieve this it may mean local people deciding on how money is spent & having a disincentive for those who refuse to support their local schools to use chelsea tractors to transport children across the area to schools disconnected from the locality.

    come on government surely you know that dogma isn't the answer

    let local people decide and encourage ALL to go local YOU know it make sense

  • Comment number 20.

    A simple No from me, because the Tories cannot be trusted with fair allocation of funds. In the eighties Thatcher manipulated exchequer grants to favour her 'special' places of which Wandsworth Borough was number one. Wandsworth contained marginal parliamentary seats but was also an up and coming Borough benefitting from being 'over the river' from Chelsea and Fulham and seeing rapidly rising property values.

    Tories do not allocate according to need unless we are talking Tory need.

  • Comment number 21.

    On this topic Gove is becoming more Stalinist than GB. I thought that the 'Big Society' was meant to give greater LOCAL control, not more centralised 'efficiency' planning!

    One size does not 'fit all', each area has it's own needs and wants. I want locally elected people (not necessarily politicians) to decide how my money is spent on delivering local services.

    Stop tinkering for short term goals and consider the longer term objectives. Education will be the only way out of our current position and saving money will not help that.

  • Comment number 22.

    Wasn't one of the Conservatives' policies a reduction in big central Government and more power to local people?

  • Comment number 23.

    So, let me understand this correctly: for the NHS the prescription to make it more cost effective, efficient, accountable and improve standards is to abolish the local PCTs and pass control to the lowest organisational unit, the GPs. Whereas for the schools, the prescription is to centralise all decision making and control into Whitehall. Sure, this is consistent!

  • Comment number 24.

    20. At 08:08am on 13 Nov 2010, holly_bush_berry wrote:
    A simple No from me, because the Tories cannot be trusted with fair allocation of funds. In the eighties Thatcher manipulated exchequer grants to favour her 'special' places of which Wandsworth Borough was number one. Wandsworth contained marginal parliamentary seats but was also an up and coming Borough benefitting from being 'over the river' from Chelsea and Fulham and seeing rapidly rising property values.

    Tories do not allocate according to need unless we are talking Tory need.
    ----------------------------------------

    What about all the free goodies given to Scotland and Wales under New Labour, which are their main electoral power bases? Free tuition fees, prescription charges, etc, etc.


  • Comment number 25.

    I can't see how this policy fits in with the Conservative philosophy of local decentralisation. Imagine this type of control in the hands of a Labour government intent on enforcing social engineering and political change.

    The only good point is that it would possibly save money. Having said that I have yet to come across a governmental change that is not manipulated by the bureaucracy to actually cost more money.

    Why don't the government concentrate on Further Education which is in a mess.

    Everybody is ignoring the reasons why Further Education is in such a mess.
    Overcapacity (too many institutions to support).
    Overpay, too many bureaucrat fat cats in Universities.

    When many universities start asking for up to £9k demand from UK students will plummet and there will be an uncontrolled mess of universities going bust, disruption and government bailouts. Why not deal with this now?

    First of all, REDUCE THE LENGTH OF DEGREE COURSES TO 2 YEARS. Most BA courses do not need 3 years study.
    Secondly, imposed caps on administrator and lecturer pay.
    Three, start reducing FE capacity, starting with those 'colleges' offering second rate education standards.

  • Comment number 26.

    Funds should allocated by central government, local government and parents, each paying a third of the total costs, with the governors being accountable to all three.

  • Comment number 27.

    How were things done when they worked? Copy that! 30k consultancy fee please...

  • Comment number 28.

    23. At 08:15am on 13 Nov 2010, Total Mass Retain wrote:
    *************************************
    Bang on with your observations, I couldn't agree more.

  • Comment number 29.

    #24 Del_Herts made a noise. I hope you didn't frighten yourself.. ;-)

    I take it you haven’t heard of the Welsh and Scottish Assemblies which conform very nicely to LOCAL democracy then…?

  • Comment number 30.

    As students are now having to pay for their own higher education, how about parents paying for the own child's school education ?

    Surely that would be a fairer way for funding school education ?

  • Comment number 31.

    29. At 08:41am on 13 Nov 2010, holly_bush_berry wrote:

    I take it you haven’t heard of the Welsh and Scottish Assemblies which conform very nicely to LOCAL democracy then…?

    It would be VERY NICE if ENGLAND had an assembly as well. At the moment we largely pay for the Welsh, Scttish and Northern Irish Assemblies, but get none of the benefits!

  • Comment number 32.

    I would like to see the government move away from funding schools by the number of students that stay into the 6th form. This has resulted in numerous students staying on when it is not in their best interests. These students are often pressured into staying at school, but for financial reasons, rather than in the interest of the student. This often results in them leaving early then having to wait until the following years intake for say, a college course or apprenticeship, as they were not made aware that a suitable opportunity existed elsewhere. Schools are not impartial!

  • Comment number 33.

    I have experience in setting budgets and I will ask, what is the difference?

    I will do my budget every year, it is around £1.6 Million, it gets approved and the money arrives, if it does not get approved then it comes back at me with recommendations of cutting cost, I amended it and send it back, money arrives. At no point in my budget process does anyone inspect my premises to see if what I am proposing is warranted it is done on trust; then again I am private and not public sector, therefore I do not have anyone who is trying to justify their role.

    The money all comes from the same place The Tax Payer, so what is the difference if the tax payer, send s it to a LEA first or directly from the school.

    Answer has to lie in who gets the interest gained on such lumps sums? This is what they will fight over.

  • Comment number 34.

    30. At 08:54am on 13 Nov 2010, HaveIGotThatWrong wrote:
    As students are now having to pay for their own higher education, how about parents paying for the own child's school education ?

    Surely that would be a fairer way for funding school education ?

    =================
    They already do if you want a real chance in life

  • Comment number 35.

    It would be VERY NICE if ENGLAND had an assembly as well. At the moment we largely pay for the Welsh, Scttish and Northern Irish Assemblies, but get none of the benefits

    What and add yet anothert layer of government?

  • Comment number 36.

    I suppose this will mean the 'favourites' of the Tory party will get what they want and the others will get an amount the school can survive on. Seems to me this is one way to create elitism and once again kids from poorer areas in the country will suffer.

    All children need to be educated not just the ones who live in Tory heartlands. Thatcher all over again same crap different face.

    I wouldn't trust this Government to organise a one ticket raffle.

  • Comment number 37.

    Fairly

  • Comment number 38.

    #35 Ron. Are you insinuating that the people of Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland don't pay any taxes and that they are funded by purely by England. What benefits exactly would you like?

    I agree it would be fantastic if England had an Assembly then we could all go our own ways and stop having to listen to people like you.

  • Comment number 39.

    38. At 09:16am on 13 Nov 2010, ziggyboy wrote:
    #35 Ron. Are you insinuating that the people of Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland don't pay any taxes and that they are funded by purely by England. What benefits exactly would you like?

    I agree it would be fantastic if England had an Assembly then we could all go our own ways and stop having to listen to people like you.

    I am not suggesting anything of the kind, I merely observing that for an English assembly would put another layer on government and thus more cost. I am opposed to multi level government and all of the £250,000 wage levels of the people who run them.

  • Comment number 40.

    · 31. At 08:59am on 13 Nov 2010, Del_Herts wrote:
    29. At 08:41am on 13 Nov 2010, holly_bush_berry wrote:

    I take it you haven’t heard of the Welsh and Scottish Assemblies which conform very nicely to LOCAL democracy then…?

    It would be VERY NICE if ENGLAND had an assembly as well. At the moment we largely pay for the Welsh, Scttish and Northern Irish Assemblies, but get none of the benefits!


    ####################

    Oil, SCOTTISH Oil, from Scotland


  • Comment number 41.

    38 i was actually responding to 31

  • Comment number 42.

    30. At 08:54am on 13 Nov 2010, HaveIGotThatWrong wrote:
    As students are now having to pay for their own higher education, how about parents paying for the own child's school education ?

    Surely that would be a fairer way for funding school education ?


    Sure, if you pay back with interest the cost of your own school education that your parents received, or were entitled to receive, on your behalf.

    If you think that both social justice and future economic prosperity (prosperity you will need to receive the products and services you need and want) are going to be assured by making education optional and based on ability to pay then you are living in a parallel universe. State provided education is available in all advanced developed states as the only way of assuring a skilled and flexible workforce. You will need the children of other people to have a good education so you can continue to live in a prosperous nation and be supported and supportable when you are no longer economically active.

    Before someone who is on relative low pay but funds their (step) child's education pipes up, if the state did require parents to pay for their education those on much higher income than yours (eg me) would certainly pay for their children's education but in the process price the low paid parents out of the market. State education keeps the prices of most (bar the elite) independent schools lower than they would be in a true market. But state education ensures (irrespective of educational standards) that the majority of children do mix with other social groups which has benefits for social cohesion. So in a situation where parents had to pay (unlike your parents), the low paid parents would receive very basic education for their children or choose not to have their children educated (at what price to society?) unless they were heavily subsidised.

  • Comment number 43.

    The condition of each building should be made to a standard fit to teach and learn in before any budgets are made. Perhaps employ the ones on the dole for this task at a reasonable pay.

    Then the budget should be based on number of pupils.

  • Comment number 44.

    They need fodder so they will continue to use whatever means possible to keep the majority down whilst their own get the best of everything and the best way is through the control of education you only have to look at how much the education system has already gotten worse.
    Subjects are not taught any more what's taught is what's needed to pass the exam which is about as much use in the real world as a chocolate fire-guard but it does keep us controllable by the state.

  • Comment number 45.

    As a school teacher and PE coordinator, I have had to attend 2 meetings during the past week. The first was a staff meeting where the head of "number crunching statistics" spent 2 hrs on levels and argets in English, Maths and Science. The second was a meeting of the Sports Partnership which supports sports in primary schools. The funding for this partnership has ceased and will be "added" to the schools budgets.

    The two are connected because, the only thing that matters to the powers that be is levels in these 3 subjects. Therefore heads will be put under pressure to spend their money on the areas that the number crunchers see as important.

  • Comment number 46.

    "How should school budgets be allocated?"

    Well I suppose using a formulae is easier than working out what a school really needs in order to run, but one has to wonder why the government should be exempt from making an effort in their work.

  • Comment number 47.

    It should so much per child per year irrespect of where in the country that child is.

    Direct financing of schools would prevent the councils diverting education funds from schools to businesses like the public transport industry that they have been conned into bankrolling.

  • Comment number 48.

    I notice that an earlier contributor asked that ' ..... while they're at it remove the power of L.A.s to reinstate expelled pupils- I've never heard of anything anywhere that undermines school discipline so much.'

    This is, of course, not a power LA's have.

    But why bring facts into the debate? I notice for example that a few weeks ago Gove dropped into a speech a comment about reducing 'LA's power to determine a school's curriculum'. What power is that then? Maybe the secretary of state hasn't heard of the National Curriculum. He also suggested that he would give Headteachers the power to act in respect of discipline when pupils are on their way to and from school ... a power they have had for at least seventy years.

  • Comment number 49.

    There are troubles ahead, that is certain. Troubles we have now are that Head Teachers are hard to recruit because the salary flip-up between deputy and headship is so little yet the responsibility is huge. Too many schools are permanently run by temporary headships and in a constant state of staff flux.

    Next problem is budget management - about ten per cent of schools have stashed 25% of their budgets away into savings accounts and there is no method of retriving these funds once given to the schools. It wasn't and doesn't get spent on pupils.

    The next biggest problem today is that schools budgets are based on an annual cycle - not knowing what income to expect until 2 months to the start of the new year is bonkers financial management when you run a multi-million pound account.

    Also, to be fixed quickly, school management regulations do not require schools to hire business managers, and if it does there are no qualifications or accountable body to regulate their capabilities.

    Lastly, since the LA is proposed as no longer an auditing body, and the Audit Commission is being disbanded - who is going to regulate and audit these billions of pounds on behalf of the taxpayer.

    Get the house in order before making these changes Gove.

  • Comment number 50.

    #31 Del_Herts wrote “It would be VERY NICE if ENGLAND had an assembly as well.”

    Wow, you DO have a brain. Congratulations!

    Having an English Assembly would also dispatch the Coalition to where it belongs, in a dumpster.

  • Comment number 51.

    Funds should be allocated according to need, need that is of the pupils, not the need of a government minister to cling to a political dogma.

  • Comment number 52.

    The schools budget is £39bn. There are 7.4 million pupils (primary and secondary). So that is £5270.27 per pupil. So start with that and index link it to the CPI. Problem solved forever. The pupil premium then tops that up with £2000 per pupil for a poor background. Simple, understandable and effective.

  • Comment number 53.

    I don't know.

    What I DO know is that no school (or organisation) should be given funds which it feels it must spend in order to receive funding the following year. If there are monies left over they should be used in other areas, with future funding for that school or organisation not affected.

  • Comment number 54.

    What will happen to special needs provision? LEA has county/borough vsison, schools more inward looking?

  • Comment number 55.

    If it removes what we are told are inequalities of treatment of similar schools in different areas, then of course it's a good idea to change it. Provided of course they don't come up with something even worse.
    I wouldn't regard as an improvement any increase in the trend towards making Heads into shopkeepers. Or giving more powers to Governors, unless they were all parents.

  • Comment number 56.

    By and large I think it is a good idea - Primary and Secondary education has become a political and social engineering kicking ground over the years - particularly for 'opposition' led councils. A reduction in council led interference, 'Think Tank' dictats, testing, and targets would be a huge improvement.

  • Comment number 57.

    What this will mean is the good schools will get more than the worse off schools, this will lead to different levels of education as schools become unequal.

    Many schools are so dilapidated and require refurbishment where do these stand? Let the water drip down the ceiling perhaps!

    The biggest failure and problem is over sized classrooms many now packed as tightly as a sardine tin, no wonder teachers are stressed, and we should know what over sized class rooms lead to... poor education, violence and disorder which will run down the school even more, thus requiring more attention. Until this us resolved there will be poor schools and poor education and poor league tables, good areas and bad areas with problems continuing and getting worse throughout.

    Bet you they look after their own schools in their constituencies.... look a prat if it's a sub standard school won't they!

  • Comment number 58.

    The Government are totally devoid of any new ideas that is unless it will benefit their own supporters.

    Election PLEASE!!

  • Comment number 59.

    If this is designed to ensure school consistency at a national level I agree. And take away postcode education standards? Yesterday Surrey NHS announced certain treatments would not be available any longer, while presumably they are in other Trusts. Postcode health standards again? Maybe the government can implement this 'formula' in healthcare too as soon as possible. Why should local government management, budget adherence and politics affect fundamental things like health and education?

  • Comment number 60.

    ............and to think, people actually voted for these idiots.
    I bet their not laughing now.

  • Comment number 61.

    #49 Trina intelligently reflects on school finance issues.

    I have to agree about financial planning.

    At the lowest level it is crazy that a family on limited income does not know how much their local authority will charge them in council tax until a couple of months before the new financial year; multiplying that difficulty upwards to businesses, which schools have now become, is a nightmare.

    I am at a loss to understand why it is not possible to introduce the concept of expense limits to elections so that political parties must say how much they will spend, what they will spend it on, and how much it will cost each and every voter, in detail. Since, locally, they are elected for a term of office – four years – it must be possible to tell everybody what their allocation will be (exact adjustments for inflation can be made nearer the time) over the whole term.

  • Comment number 62.

    Great idea, it will keep the cash out of the hands of councils. Maybe now it will be spent on education and not on non jobs , interpreters, thinktanks, and council junkets.

  • Comment number 63.

    For gods sake stop wasting taxpayers money. Leave it alone! it will cost more to 'overhaul' it than it will save. Politicians messing about with money and formulas? Why anyone would think they were doing their expenses and, we all know how good they are with them!
    Get rid of Cameron and 'the greedy bankers protection party' and his puppets, the Dimlebs ASAP before the country decends into anarchy.

  • Comment number 64.

    58. At 10:16am on 13 Nov 2010, ziggyboy wrote:

    The Government are totally devoid of any new ideas that is unless it will benefit their own supporters.

    Election PLEASE!!


    You will have to be patient. The next general election won't be until 7th May 2015.

  • Comment number 65.

    31. At 08:59am on 13 Nov 2010, Del_Herts wrote:

    "It would be VERY NICE if ENGLAND had an assembly as well. At the moment we largely pay for the Welsh, Scttish and Northern Irish Assemblies, but get none of the benefits!"
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
    This comment illustrates the problem with education in England: An inability to grasp the basics.
    If you want your own assembly, parliament or even independence. Vote for a party that will give you these things. The Welsh, Scots and Northern Irish electorate easily worked this out. It is not rocket science.

  • Comment number 66.

    The Tories will make sure the most money goes to schools in Tory-voting areas.

  • Comment number 67.

    Here are 2 quotes from Kenneth Baker in his September 16 1999 interview with the Guardian:
    1. "I loved Keith dearly. Keith was a lovely person, but he was seduced by very clever civil servants in the department. I had a much more practical approach. I could see the advantage of a voucher system, but Heath and a lot of the Conservative party were against them."
    2. "Well, yes, it's not a formal voucher system, but it's very tantamount! In effect, it was a voucher system. I just didn't call it that. It was a subtler approach."
    Same old same old.

  • Comment number 68.

    Another Tory election u-turn. They claimed to want to decentralise everything to give power back to local areas. They don't have a clue what they are doing. This is the most disorganised and incompetent government we have ever had.

  • Comment number 69.

    24. At 08:25am on 13 Nov 2010, Del_Herts wrote:

    20. At 08:08am on 13 Nov 2010, holly_bush_berry wrote:
    A simple No from me, because the Tories cannot be trusted with fair allocation of funds. In the eighties Thatcher manipulated exchequer grants to favour her 'special' places of which Wandsworth Borough was number one. Wandsworth contained marginal parliamentary seats but was also an up and coming Borough benefitting from being 'over the river' from Chelsea and Fulham and seeing rapidly rising property values.

    Tories do not allocate according to need unless we are talking Tory need.
    ----------------------------------------

    What about all the free goodies given to Scotland and Wales under New Labour, which are their main electoral power bases? Free tuition fees, prescription charges, etc, etc


    Yes, anyone who thinks that it is only one particular political party that panders to the needs of it of its own supporters is ideologically blinkered.

  • Comment number 70.

    Transparency is the answer - lets see where ALL of the tax is being spent. I would like a big spreadsheet that also details the repayment of LOANS by the failed banks and the INTEREST rate the government are charging them for the loan. Then I would like every tax-fiddling MP including the PM if he's in it taken to court and Fined massively before being banned from parliament for LIFE. And they should have the right to vote removed permanently.

  • Comment number 71.

    School budgets should be looked at like a state benefit. Therefore all the schools in a particular area should be given state money based on the 30th percentile point of the average cost per child in that area, after of course omitting the top 10% fist.

  • Comment number 72.

    On first impression, from an article on the BBC website (not a very reliable or unbiased source of information). This seems to be the same old thing.

    To Tories main thrust, at least via press announcements, is to say that they want to increase the power of local schools by taking at away from the LEAs. They have talked about this for years, and it was prevalent in the last Tory government.

    This will concentrate power at the centre, and increase bureaucracy at the local school (or what ever). The upside is that it will remove some off the bureaucracy at council level. But council function will still have to be implemented, who will carry them out? Will it be inefficient for each school to increase it administrative burden?, will some quango have to be set up to replace council functions.

    Again I share the thought of many posters? Do we really need change AGAIN in our education system. It seems to me that our politicians are just a bunch meddlers. who really do not have a clue what they are doing. A collection of half baked ideas from abroad, does not an education policy make.

  • Comment number 73.

    Like the lunatic plan to make GP's accountants this is another half baked back of a fag packet plan from a government increasingly out of its depth

  • Comment number 74.

    With lumpy mash, over-cooked vegetables and chewy boiled beef...much like the school dinners

  • Comment number 75.

    What about all the free goodies given to Scotland and Wales under New Labour, which are their main electoral power bases? Free tuition fees, prescription charges, etc, etc

    -----
    Scotland and Wales are over represented in the Westminster parliament but do not represent the majority of Labour Support or seats 80% of Labour votes were cast in England at the last election.

    If you don't like the current system vote for a more proportionate system at the referendum next year.

    Odd when Tories whinge about unfair representation that they intend not to support fairer voting systems.
    Or is the only fair vote a Tory vote?

  • Comment number 76.

    Yet another smoke screen to dodge the issue - Why are we having this problem with the funding of our education - When only a few days ago The Prime Minister agreed to an increase in our financial support of Europe - £ 430 Million extra per year !!

    This is nonsense and clearly shows a distinct lack of willingness and policy to look after our own !!!

    Undoubtedly now The Rich will get Richer and the Poor who are shouldering the load will get Poorer.

    This is Shameful !!!

  • Comment number 77.

    Whilst I recognise the need for some variation in funding between some local areas to reflect local differences and local needs, there is currently too wide a variation between the highest funded Authority and the lowest funded Authority.
    In Leicestershire we are considered to be statistical neighbours (i.e. broadly similar) to Cambridgeshire but Leicestershire is currently the lowest funded Authority in England. Why is it then that a Leicestershire school can have an annual budget that is £750,000 less than a broadly similar school in Cambridgeshire? Of course the current funding arrangements need changing but this does not need to remove Local Authorities from the process.

  • Comment number 78.

    The important thing is that every child has the same opportunity to learn.

    Therefore monies should be allocated according to need.

  • Comment number 79.

    MY DECEASED FATHER-IN-LAW ALWAYS SAID WHEN THE TORIES GET INTO POWER ITS TIME FOR THE MASSES TO TIGHTEN THEIR BELTS. THEY WILL STRENGHEN CONDITIONS FOR THE RICH TO THE DETREMENT OF THE POOR.SCHOOLING WILL BE NO EXCEPTION.ANYTHING NORTH OF WATFORD WILL TAKE CUTS AND CLASS SIZES WILL SOAR.THE TORY BELIEF IS TO ONLY EDUCATE THE MASSES TO A CERTAIN STANDARD SO THEY CAN KEEP THE UPPER HAND.IM A CYNIC BECAUSE IVE SEEN IT ALL BEFORE.SADLY THE NEW GENERATIONS HAVE TO LEARN WHAT ITS LIKE UNDER TORY RULE.

  • Comment number 80.

    The Governemnt should set out a "national average" figure each year and then send 75% of this in the form of a voucher, to parents. The other 25% - or such other level that local authorities decide - should be raised by local authorities from their local electorate and allocated to schools as they see fit.

  • Comment number 81.

    77 Good point.

    If Gove's intention (and practice) is to iron out inequalities in the current system then good.

    But you know what will really happen, budgets will be massaged down, to increase Leicester, Cambridge will see a reduction, and I would be surprised if both do not see reduction in real terms.

    Then the carrot will be dangled, schools can get an increased budget if they leave LEA control. If a school leaves LEA control, that school's funding will be removed from the LEA and part of it handed to the school. The remainder will be kept at the centre.

  • Comment number 82.

    75. At 11:15am on 13 Nov 2010, steve wrote:

    What about all the free goodies given to Scotland and Wales under New Labour, which are their main electoral power bases? Free tuition fees, prescription charges, etc, etc

    -----
    Scotland and Wales are over represented in the Westminster parliament but do not represent the majority of Labour Support or seats 80% of Labour votes were cast in England at the last election.

    If you don't like the current system vote for a more proportionate system at the referendum next year.

    Odd when Tories whinge about unfair representation that they intend not to support fairer voting systems.
    Or is the only fair vote a Tory vote?


    I think you will find that all MPs across all political parties who believe that their seat is vulnerable under a new voting system will be against it including Labour.

  • Comment number 83.

    I can imagine how this idea originated.
    After being ridiculed over the school building programme, Michael Gove has been desperate to launch a new initiative. The Coalition Ministers would have been called to the Department for Education for a brainstorming session. After the inevitable hour of silence, someone spoke: "Coffee anyone?"
    Gove jumped to his feet and shouted: "That is it! Coffee!"
    To puzzled faces, Gove elaborated: "I am going to create coffee:- Coalition Office For Funding English Education. COFFEE!"

  • Comment number 84.

    The funding for schools comes from national taxation, so the initial allocation has to come from the national government, as it does now. The choice is whether it is channelled through (and adjusted by) local authorities or given directly to school governing bodies. There are arguments both ways, but to say that the Government's proposal to remove local authorities from the process is "centralising" or in conflict with the concept of increased localism is simply wrong. The net gainers of control would be school governing bodies, which consist of only local people, mainly parents, staff of the school and the headteacher, who would be free to buy services from their local authority or any other source they choose.

  • Comment number 85.

    Sick & tired of all the experimentation in education these past 60 years! Just go back to Latin & the Classics, the whip & the lash, that was what gave class & grit to the British Empire! We are a Nation of wimps today.

  • Comment number 86.

    I don't really see the problem ~ funding should be consistent across Local Authorities. Each school should get the same per pupil with a top-up for those with special educational skills. Those with diverse ethnic mixes should not get extra, immigrants should be able to speak English.

    If Local Authorities choose to divert EXTRA funding to their schools to reflect the priorities of the the local community that's also fine but they shouldn't be able to divert funds away from the schools budget and give local kids a raw deal.

    I suspect that the government is worried that LA's will divert cash away from schools rather than cut waste and non essential services/staffing elsewhere, for political reasons, then blame the government for falling standards. There must be some sort of tie-in to their plans for a Pupils Premium too.

    As a last comment there are many on these HYS topics who have a go at the coalition even when existing standards/systems are poor. The country is spending cash it hasn't got so it makes perfect sense to look again at every area and ask 'are we getting value for money, could we do better for less?'.

  • Comment number 87.

    42. At 09:26am on 13 Nov 2010, Total Mass Retain wrote:
    30. At 08:54am on 13 Nov 2010, HaveIGotThatWrong wrote:
    As students are now having to pay for their own higher education, how about parents paying for the own child's school education ?

    Surely that would be a fairer way for funding school education ?

    Sure, if you pay back with interest the cost of your own school education that your parents received, or were entitled to receive, on your behalf.

    ---------------------

    If you adopt that view and take it to its logical conclusion then nothing that was once paid for by the state ( i.e. tax payer ) can ever be removed, i.e. because you received it from free, therefore it's not fair that someone else in the future should pay for it.

    The MPs that have imposed ever increasing HE fees did not pay for their University education, but they are not going to pay their costs back, are they ? No, of course not.

    Just because the state paid for something in the past is not a valid argument as to why that situation should not change in the future.

  • Comment number 88.

    Simple, allocation by the number of children per school. This way more money will get to where it's needed - i.e. at the coalface!

    What many people don't realise is how much of the education budget is used up by all the administrators etc between central Government and the schools.

  • Comment number 89.

    Having sat in many local council meetings, I have to say it always astonishes me that anything gets done on a local level. I suppose it must be the council staff who actually do the real work - it sure ain't our 'elected representatives'. In some areas, ignorant, badly educated councillors have been making decisions on policies they don't understand, often because The Party says this is the way they must think.

  • Comment number 90.

    "
    85. At 11:59am on 13 Nov 2010, ian cheese wrote:

    Sick & tired of all the experimentation in education these past 60 years! Just go back to Latin & the Classics, the whip & the lash, that was what gave class & grit to the British Empire! We are a Nation of wimps today.
    "

    I actually agree with you Chucky.

  • Comment number 91.

    Go back to way education "worked" in the 60's and 70's and stop messing about.

  • Comment number 92.

    Ziggyboy, what would be the point of another election? MOST of us NEVER wanted Slave Labour in the first place, but that bunch of crooks and charlatans was foisted on us. At least the combined vote of LibDems & Conservatives better represents the wishes of the people of this country.

    NEVER forget: Labour destroyed Britain!

  • Comment number 93.

    any future reports on any public spending departments, should clearly display how much of each pound put in, actually gets to the frontline of the service its given to.

    as regards schools, id wager that less than 50p of each £1 we taxpayers put in, actually gets to the school/pupil
    the catalogue that schools HAVE to buy from, is way over priced and above what an individual customer would pay at sports direct (in the case of sports equipment) instead relying on supermarket donations and influence.. which is NOT a healthy one.

    surely schools should be using their purchasing power as a unit, ie, with open accounting via independant companies, instead of spending above the odds and being limited to purchasing from one single company/catalogue?

    free up schools to spend their own money, cut out the middle man, as we saw with tony blair, who told us grant maintained schools were wrong, only for him to bring them back 3 years later under a new name and rebranded them, as if it was his idea all along.
    give funding directly to schools, to use as they wish, with strict guidelines in place to prevent fraud/waste.

  • Comment number 94.

    Kuradi (91), should we take your comment literally or are you being ironic? The early seventies were a disaster, especially in those Labour authorities that were more intent on crushing selection than arranging for education appropriate to pupil needs.

  • Comment number 95.

    90. At 12:15pm on 13 Nov 2010, Kuradi Vitukari wrote:
    "
    85. At 11:59am on 13 Nov 2010, ian cheese wrote:

    Sick & tired of all the experimentation in education these past 60 years! Just go back to Latin & the Classics, the whip & the lash, that was what gave class & grit to the British Empire! We are a Nation of wimps today.
    "

    I actually agree with you Chucky.

    ---------
    I say, old boy, you are not such a bad apple after all! You are my cup of tea! Darjeeling, etc.!

  • Comment number 96.

    My wife and I where married just before the terrible Thatcher years when you did not know from one week to the next if you where going to have a job. This was only because we had a greedy bullying Tory government that used unemployment to repress people and to fund their own pockets. In this awful society we could not afford to have the luxury of children. I believe that those who have chosen to have this luxury should fund it so please don’t burden the rest of society with a school bill for children they don’t or couldn’t have and please reduce our taxes.

  • Comment number 97.

    I'm a primary school governor, and we spend a lot of time ensuring that the money our school receives is spent in the best interests of our children. The question of how much we get, however, is quite murky which makes planning difficult. If we knew we would get a base sum plus £x per child or some such standard formula we'd know where we stood, as it is we never know if we'll actually have enough, or have a surplus which we'd better find a use for before it gets clawed back again... the one thing you cannot do is put anything away to provide for unexpected needs!

  • Comment number 98.

    83. At 11:44am on 13 Nov 2010, billyhano wrote:
    I can imagine how this idea originated.
    After being ridiculed over the school building programme, Michael Gove has been desperate to launch a new initiative


    amusing as i found your post, its important to highlight opposition to your opinion.

    contrary to being ridiculed over the school buildings programme, in this household, its removal was welcomed.
    funding a programme of such importance, for schools using taxpayer's money, in the way that ed balls proposed was to be ridiculed;

    The funding didnt even exist
    The funding wasnt in place
    The funding was against the chancellor's advice and instruction (an internal labour party power spat no less)
    The entire project was based upon future savings (thats CUTS to you) across other departments to the tune of £1 BILLION, that were allocated already to cutting the yearly borrowing cycle of £155 BILLION a year for the UK to break even and NOT available for public spending.

    The ridicule for the so called financially experienced ed balls doubles, as his fantasy funding was arrived at after it became obvious that his failed PFI scam, that was kept off the UK's books to avoid criticism by opposition parties, saving general election votes and to prevent the UK from losing its aaa credit rating (which would have cost the country BILLIONS more in extra interest payments) and will cost each and every taxpayers real money in future years as he took on too many too soon, went belly up!

    the ONLY reason ed balls set up his fantasy school buildings program and announced it to the world and his dog, was to protect labour at the general election.
    The whole process had no basis in fact, which is surprising for one who proclaims to be "experienced" in finance.

    other than that, your post was quite amusing

  • Comment number 99.

    85. At 11:59am on 13 Nov 2010, ian cheese wrote:
    Sick & tired of all the experimentation in education these past 60 years! Just go back to Latin & the Classics, the whip & the lash, that was what gave class & grit to the British Empire! We are a Nation of wimps today.


    Spot on and well put.

  • Comment number 100.

    The current funding system is completely unfair, and pupils in rural areas suffer greatly. The funding formula boils down to schools receiving an amount of money per pupil. Why should a secondary school in a rural county recieve £1000 per pupil less than a school in a city? In a school with a thousand pupils the difference in funding can be as much as a million pounds per year and there are many examples where schools within 20 miles of one another receive vastly different amounts of money. I welcome any move that creates a fairer funding system for all schools and their pupils.

 

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