Schools in Bath and North East Somerset will see their budgets rise by nearly £3.7 million from next year – representing one of the biggest increases in the country.
Following consultation with schools in the area, Bath and North East Somerset Council is recommending the additional funding is allocated using the new National Funding Formula from April 2018.
All schools in Bath and North East Somerset will see an increase in their budget from next April, with some of the lowest-funded schools receiving an increase of more than 10% as historically- low funding levels are reversed. The overall budget for schools in Bath and North East Somerset is rising by £3.68 million a year, representing a 3.9% boost to the total schools budget and the third highest increase in the country.
The Council’s Cabinet Member for Children & Young People, Councillor Paul May, is being recommended to approve the introduction of the new formula from 1st April 2018 following consultation with local schools.
The Schools Forum, which consists of a range of representative head teachers, governors and Early Years representatives, considered the results of the consultation before recommending to Councillor May the preferred option for the timing and delivery of the new National Funding Formula, which becomes mandatory for all local authorities from 2020.
Under the current funding system, some schools receive significantly more funding per pupil than other schools. The new formula seeks to address this anomaly while ensuring that schools serving the most deprived communities continue see their levels of funding protected through guaranteed per-pupil increases.
During the consultation with local schools, a small number of schools expressed a preference to stay with the existing local formula for longer as this would provide them with a greater share of the additional money in the next year or two, with a lower amount allocated to other schools in the area. Analysis of funding levels shows that, under the new formula, schools serving wards with the highest numbers of children from disadvantaged and vulnerable families will continue to be the highest funded schools in the local authority area.
A single member decision is anticipated to be made on Wednesday 27 December.