By Ian Dipple Friday 12 October 2012 Updated: 12/10 10:37
EDUCATION officials insist they will continue to make the case for protecting school budgets beyond 2015 amid concerns headteachers across Redditch could miss out on tens of thousands of pounds worth of funding.
The Standard reported last week how borough schools stand to lose more than £300,000 next year and £1.5million in two years time as a result of government reforms to simplify school funding in preparation for the introduction of a fairer national funding formula.
While some schools will gain from the arrangement, the net loss to the borough will still be more than £500,000.
But while the Government has introduced a Minimum Funding Guarantee to ensure budgets will not rise or fall by more than 1.5 per cent per pupil over the next two years, there is uncertainty as to whether that will be extended should implementation of a new formula be delayed beyond 2015.
While the council will get the same amount of money to fund schools next year, the factors they can use has been slimmed down from 40 to 12, which they say gives them little flexibility in how to dish out the money.
A spokeswoman for the Department for Education said they could not confirm if the MFG would continue after 2014/15 because it fell within the Government's next spending review period but they would make the case for school budgets to be protected.
She added the 12 factors now allowed to allocate funding addressed genuine, significant and unavoidable costs incurred to support pupils who needed it the most and was an important step in moving towards a fairer and more transparent funding system. But she said the situation could be reviewed in 2013 if further adjustments were needed.
"We are reforming the school funding system so that it is fair, transparent and reflects the needs of pupils across the country. From 2013-14 more money will be passed to schools rather than held by the local authority. This reflects our aim that head teachers and governors should decide how to spend their money."
But Rebecca Blake, Labour's Parliamentary spokeswoman for Redditch said the borough's county councillors and MPs could do more to ensure Redditch schools did not miss out.
"Headteachers in Redditch tell me that for some schools this could mean losing as many as four teachers," she said.
"Given Staffordshire elected representatives are meeting with an education minister at the Department for Education to raise their concerns about the Government's reforms, I have asked our elected representatives to do the same and raise these unfair cuts to Redditch schools. In addition I have asked for Worcestershire County Councillors to not vote for these cuts."
A protest is being held outside of County Hall in Worcester ahead of next Thursday's (October 18) cabinet meeting when a decision is expected to be made on which funding formula will be used.
FURTHER evidence has emerged a rare butterfly is
PARALYMPIAN Katrina Hart has called on residents with
A SURGE in the number of new businesses
OLYMPIAN Nick Skelton said he was honoured to
BUILDING work has started on new Bromsgrove retail park which ...
A PRISONER who went on the run after being released ...
A TRADER who caused unnecessary suffering to a rabbit he ...