Tags: Funding | Headteacher | School Financial Management | School Governance | School Governor

In February 2006, it was announced that Secondary schools in England were to receive a guaranteed minimum increase in their core funding of 3.4% per pupil for 2006-07.

The government will continue closing the historic gap between primary and secondary funding by guaranteeing a 4% per pupil rise for primary schools. The DfES has acknowledged particularly that primary schools need additional funds to implement the costs of the final stage of workforce reform. For 2007-08 both sectors have been promised a minimum increase of 3.7%.

The two year funding settlement is an interim measure while the government continues to iron out the process of introducing its promised three year budgets. While the technical difficulties are being addressed, budgets continue to be allocated according to the financial year (starting in April) rather than the academic year.

Average funding per pupil in England

2005-06 £3,411 2006-07 £3,643

2007-08 £3,888

This year’s money will come out of local authority funding which is being increased by an average of 6.8% per pupil compared with planned spending in 2005-06. An increase of 6.7% on those figures will be made in 2007-08.

The average funding per pupil through authorities in England of £3,643 in 2006-07 masks a wide variation across the country. A 7.2% rise brings London boroughs up to an average of £4,346 per pupil, while LAs in the south west will receive an average of £3,411 per pupil.

The City of London tops the list of individual authorities with a guarantee of £6,708 per pupil from April 2006. Tower Hamlets comes next with £5,610 per pupil, followed by fellow London borough Camden on £5,551. At the other end of the scale, Leicestershire will received the least per pupil at £3,224, followed by South Gloucestershire on £3,281 and Herefordshire on £3,297.

Dr John Dunford, general secretary of the Association of School and College Leaders, welcomed the increases, but said the minimum funding guarantee of 3.4% was ‘lower than secondary schools were expecting and considerably lower than is needed to meet increased costs’.

This article first appeared in School Governor Update – Feb 2006

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