Sunday, November 21, 2010

Government U-turn on a national funding system for schools and 16-18

Today the FT Westminster Blog reports that that the government is backing down on a national school funding system. It quotes Michael Gove on the Andrew Marr Show as saying:

The Financial Times ran a report of what they thought was going to be in the white paper, fair play to them, journalists often anticipate events, but the truth is that we will be funding schools through local authorities as we do at the moment.

The Westminster Blog says that it had a copy of a draft copy of the white paper and the details of their story were confirmed by civil servants at the Department for Education.

Where all this leaves the Young People’s Learning Agency is unclear. The draft seen by the Financial Times included this paragraph:

The Young People’s Learning Agency (YPLA) will extend their current responsibility for funding Academies and Free Schools to funding all schools becoming the Education Funding Agency from April 2013. It would administer the national funding formula to all schools directly as well as post 16 funding ensuring that the maximum amount of money goes directly to schools in a fair, transparent and equitable way. Local authorities will pass the national funding formula allocation directly to maintained schools until the Education Funding Agency comes into existence.

I suspect the YPLA will carry on even though the government has U-turned on the broader reform. Sadly this may mean that the inequalities in 16-18 funding between schools and colleges persist.

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