Response to the Department for Education's stage two consultation on a Schools national funding formula

The LGA is deeply concerned about the ability of schools and councils to implement reductions in funding in the proposed one year of the ‘soft' funding formula in 2018-19.


Implementation of the national funding formula for schools
The LGA is deeply concerned about the ability of schools and councils to implement reductions in funding in the proposed one year of the ‘soft' funding formula in 2018-19. We are clear that those schools and councils facing a reduction in funding will need more time to make the necessary savings and therefore ask the Department to phase the proposed changes to school funding in more gradually.

Cuts to the Education Services Grant
The LGA is concerned that the £600 million (75 per cent) cut to ESG leaves councils with little resource to perform a wide variety of statutory duties, covering a number of essential services including mental health support and maintenance of school buildings and playing fields, as well as school improvement. We do not believe it is right that schools should be asked to fund these services, at a time when their budgets are being squeezed.

Detailed formula design proposals
We are concerned that the proposal to reduce the lump sum to £110,000 per school, while increasing funding through other parts of the proposed formula, will have a particularly negative impact on small primary schools. This factor seeks to reflect the minimum costs of running a school – e.g. the cost of a head teacher and the maintenance and insurance of buildings.

We believe the proposed reduction in basic per-pupil funding to 73 per cent could make small primary schools with little additionality unsustainable. Instead, we ask the Department to consider setting basic per-pupil funding at 75 per cent to give some protection to these schools.