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New schools funding formula to be delayed until 2018/19
OnJul 21, 2016
Newly appointed education secretary Justine Greening has today revealed that the schools funding formula, originally set for implementation in England from 2017/18, has been delayed until 2018/19.
In a statement announcing the delay, Greening said “we must get our approach right” and stressed the importance of “consulting widely and fully with the sector”.
Shadow education secretary Angela Rayner called the decision “woeful”, and Neil Leitch, chief executive at the Pre-school Learning Alliance, has raised concerns over what this will mean for the introduction of the promised national early years funding formula.
“With the full roll-out of the 30-hours ‘free childcare’ offer currently scheduled for next September, timings are already extremely tight to have a completely new early years funding model in place in time, as was promised,” Neil said.
“The fact that the government has now decided to postpone the introduction of a new schools funding formula, despite the fact that the consultation process on this formula had already started, clearly doesn’t bode well for the introduction of a national early years funding formula, for which no consultation has yet been published.”
While the statement gave a detailed description of how plans would unfold for schools, very little mention was made of the early years, other than to say that plans for a national funding formula for the sector will be set out shortly.
“To have any chance of being able to deliver the 30-hours offer, both providers and local authorities need time to prepare, and yet as it stands, we have no early years minister, no information on the promised funding reform and no indication of when any information on either will be available,” Neil said.
“It is vital that the department for education provides an update on this as a matter of urgency, and we look forward to hearing from them shortly.”