“A Bill will be brought forward to lay foundations for educational excellence in all schools, giving every child the best start in life. There will also be a fairer balance between schools, through the National Funding Formula.” – The Queens Speech, 18th May 2016.
The purpose of this Bill is to:
- Spread educational excellence everywhere, so that all children and young people, regardless of location, prior attainment or background get an excellent education.
- Move towards a system where all schools are academies, and all schools are funded fairly.
- Improve outcomes for pupils who are let down, by fundamental reforms to alternative provision for excluded pupils.
- Deliver the vision that will be set out in the forthcoming Skills Plan through ambitious reform to technical education. These changes will focus on closing the major productivity gap between our economy and other leading economies.
The main benefits of the Bill would be:
- Convert schools to academies in the worst performing local authorities and those that can no longer viably support their remaining schools, so that a new system led by good and outstanding schools can take their place.
- Setting the foundation for a system in which all schools are academies, putting our great school leaders in charge of running and improving schools to improve results.
- Embedding excellence for every pupil, through fundamental reforms to educating excluded children; and reforming technical education through a strong employer-led system with high quality qualifications, which support clear line of sight to skilled employment.
- Meeting the manifesto commitment to make school funding fairer, with fundamental reform to ensure that schools with the same kinds of pupils get the same funding.
The main elements of the Bill are:
A school-led system
- Moving towards a system where every school is an academy through powers to convert schools to academies in under-performing and unviable local authorities.
- Making the process of becoming an academy swifter and smoother for schools and local authorities.
- Setting out a new role for local authorities, by shifting responsibility for school improvement from the LA to great headteachers and others in the school system.
- Redressing historical unfairness in school funding through a National Funding Formula which would allocate funding fairly and efficiently.
Excellence for every pupil
- Making schools responsible for finding the right provider for their excluded pupils, and accountable for their education.
Schools and academies will be aware that the government has issued consultation documents relating to the National Funding Formula. Our understanding is that the DfE has received over 5,000 comments on the proposals so far. A further round of consultation will take place in the next month or so – and at this stage the DfE will attach values to the factors proposed in the new formula. This should make it possible to look at the differences between each of the 152 existing local authority formulas and the national formula.
There will inevitably some schools and academies that will gain from a change in formula and others that will lose out. Whilst the government has set aside £500m to support the transition – your 3 year plan will need to accommodate the funding changes that apply to you.
School Business Services can support you through the process in a number of ways – whether you use our SBS Online budget management solution, or the School Business Manager needs support from one of our Financial Consultants or help in understanding the data on pupil progress from our MIS Consultants.
Finally for those schools that decide upon Academy Conversion, School Business Services can provide a Project Manager to oversee the process and expert advice on each aspect of the process.
Contact us today at firstname.lastname@example.org or call 0345 222 1551 • Option 5 for more information.