'Winners and losers' as Northamptonshire schools funding is re-drawn

Primary schools are set to be the big winners when Northamptonshire's schools funding is re-drawn in April.
Primary schools are set to be the big winners when Northamptonshire's schools funding is re-drawn in April.

Ninety Northamptonshire schools will see their collective Government grants reduced by £2.6 million after a shake up of the way grants are distributed.

Since the Spring of 2016 the Department for Education has been consulting on its new National Funding Formula, which will change the method by which local authorities receive block grants to fund education in their area.

Historically Northamptonshire has been underfunded. For the 2015/16 year, the county was allocated £4,293 per pupil, compared with Westminster, which was awarded £5,872 per pupil and Brent with £5,357.

However, cabinet papers reveal, the council is set to gain more than £7 million from Whitehall when the new National Funding Formula kicks in from April.

The papers show 202 of the county's schools - of which 186 are primary schools - will gain a share of £7.44 million.

However, 90 schools will lose a combined share of £2.6 million. Of them, 67 are primary schools, 19 are secondary schools and four are all-through schools.

Head of education at UNISON, Jon Richards has criticised the way the formula has been calculated - by saying the new allocations are a poor substitute for extra funding.

“Schools that are already underfunded will get much less than they’d hoped for," he said.

“Other highly rated schools in better-resourced areas will see their budgets cut further still to fund those currently failing.

“Good education doesn’t come cheap. Schools need proper investment. Heads should not be forced to compete against each other to give children a decent future.”

Northamptonshire’s primary schools would be the main gainers, however the cabinet paper concedes there are "winners and losers."

the cabinet meeting will take place at County Hall today at 2pm, at which Northamptonshire County Council is set to approve £58 million worth of cuts.