Cuts threat to dozens of our schools

Evesham Journal: CUTS: A new funding formula will hit many rural schools CUTS: A new funding formula will hit many rural schools

PRIMARY schools across the Vale are facing huge funding cuts, which could eventually lead to some closing down, campaigners have warned.

Figures released this week showed that schools in Evesham, Pershore and surrounding villages could all be hit by the swingeing cuts.

A new national funding formula being brought in by the Department for Education could leave some facing up to 40 per cent less funding – making them unviable, campaigners say.

To compensate, the Government is allowing local authorities to support schools through capping the amount the more better-off schools receive and distributing the excess.

This buffer is in place for 2013/14 and 2014/15, meaning the full force of the cuts would become a reality from April 2015.

Worcestershire County Council’s Cabinet will discuss the formula at its meeting next Thursday.

The figures show that Cleeve Prior First School (losing 34.6 per cent of its budget), Pebworth First School (31.3 per cent) and Defford-cum-Besford First School (28.3 per cent) are among those which would be worst-affected.

One Worcestershire governor has written to governing bodies across the county calling on them to protest.

The governor, who has asked not to be named, wrote: “If the MFG (minimum funding guarantee) is stopped, then this will have a devastating impact. I attended the meeting and came away with a strong sense that this was likely to be implemented. I felt like it was not a consultation process but a confirmation of what was to come.”

Councillor Jane Potter, Worcestershire County Council’s cabinet member with responsibility for education and skills, said the local authority had some concerns over the changes but it anticipated a new national formula from the Government from 2015.

She said: “There is a high level of turbulence in the new funding, and we recognise that the minimum funding guarantee (MFG) will ensure no school loses more than 1.5 per cent of funding per pupil for the next two years.”

Peter Luff, MP for Mid- Worcestershire, is due to meet with executives at Worcestershire County Council today to discuss the issue.

He said: “It’s quite an emerging situation. As far as I can tell, it’s an unintended consequence of a sensible policy. Worcester gains at the expense of Evesham and that’s madness.

I’m optimistic it can be resolved. Other schools are gaining but some are losing a lot of money. You can’t take 20 per cent of funding and expect a small school to survive.”

SCHOOLS FACING CUTS

Cleeve Prior CE First School 34.66% (Percentage of budget facing cut)

Pebworth First School 31.32%

Defford-Cum-Besford CE First School 28.33%

Overbury CE First School 20.53%

Bretforton First School 19.30%

Church Lench CE First School 18.51%

Fladbury CE First School 18.06%

Crowle CE First School 17.66%

Upton Snodsbury CE School 16.96%

Broadway First School 16.73%

Inkberrow First School 16.14%

Pinvin CE First School 15.33%

Ashton-Under-Hill First School 14.83%

Eckington CE First School 14.77%

Elmley Castle CE First School 13.94%

Cropthorne With Charlton CE School 12.03%

Honeybourne First School 11.59%

Offenham CE First School 9.85%

Flyford Flavell First School 8.39%

St Barnabas CE First & Middle School 7.76%

Holy Redeemer RC Primary School 7.64%

Harvington CE First School 7.61%

Abbey Park First and Nursery School 7.28%

Hampton St Andrew’s CE First School 5.99%

Cherry Orchard First School 4.04%

Bengeworth First School 3.43% 

The Littletons School 3.00%

St Mary’s Catholic Primary School 2.66%

Comments (1)

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10:33am Fri 12 Oct 12

EKDavies says...

I'm pleased to see coverage of this important issue but sad that especially in print so much space has been allocated to 'opinion' rather than 'fact'. Presumably some schools benefit: which ones? Are these not becoming Academies in order to prevent re-distribution of funding under the MFG? Surely this means that the MFG isn't going to work ...

Is the funding per pupil (KS1+KS2) that WCC receives from Government increasing or decreasing?

What is the new funding formula? How is it different? How much flexibility does WCC retain?

Is this a reflection on the real costs of education being much higher in small rural schools? or that the number of spaces at such schools is high?
I'm pleased to see coverage of this important issue but sad that especially in print so much space has been allocated to 'opinion' rather than 'fact'. Presumably some schools benefit: which ones? Are these not becoming Academies in order to prevent re-distribution of funding under the MFG? Surely this means that the MFG isn't going to work ... Is the funding per pupil (KS1+KS2) that WCC receives from Government increasing or decreasing? What is the new funding formula? How is it different? How much flexibility does WCC retain? Is this a reflection on the real costs of education being much higher in small rural schools? or that the number of spaces at such schools is high? EKDavies

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