Councillors in Bath & North East Somerset have given their backing to a new fairer funding formula for schools that will see an extra £3.7 million invested in local education from this April.
Labour and Lib Dem councillors had challenged the Council’s decision to award this extra money to schools based upon the Government’s new National Funding Formula, despite the new formula ensuring that all schools will get an increase in their budget and that schools serving deprived communities will continue to receive significant additional funding.
At a meeting on Tuesday, 16th January, a scrutiny panel of councillors voted to back the Council’s original decision to introduce the new funding formula from this April – dismissing the attempted ‘call-in’ by Lib Dem and Labour Councillors.
During the meeting, Councillor Paul May (Cons), the Council’s Cabinet Member for Children & Young People, explained that the new funding formula would ensure a fairer distribution of the extra funds between schools, with nearly 80% of schools receiving more than under the current distribution of funding.
Following the meeting, Councillor Paul May (Cons), said:
“I’m very pleased that, having heard the benefits of the new funding formula, the scrutiny panel voted to back the introduction of this new formula from this April.
“This means that B&NES schools will receive a funding boost of £3.7 million this year – one of the biggest increases in the country.
“Nearly eighty percent of schools will be better off under the new funding formula than the existing one, with every school receiving an increase in funding and schools serving the most deprived communities continuing to receive significant extra funding.
“This is good news for education in B&NES, with one of the biggest increases in funding for many years.”
Commenting on the attempt to block the introduction of the new funding formula by Lib Dem and Labour Councillors, Councillor May added:
“The Council consulted extensively with local schools before reaching its decision, and the clear majority of schools backed the introduction of the new formula. It’s therefore a shame that Labour and Lib Dem Councillors were not willing to listen to what the schools themselves had to say.”