Sunday, November 14, 2010

The YPLA and plans for nationalising schools funding

Tucked away in yesterday's Financial Times article about plans for a national schools funding formula was a clue to the fate of the Young People's Learning Agency:

Officials are preparing for the transition to a new funding system to begin in 2012, with a new independent Education Funding Agency taking over finance for “all schools and sixth form provision” from 2013.

Of course, this may not happen. Councils and councillors - not least Conservative ones - may be most unhappy about the policy which may appear to run contrary to "localism" rhetoric. The Conservative backbencher Douglas Carswell has already voiced doubts on his blog. The plans would create a super quango dispensingover £30billion each year. Moreover, there are many practical obstacles to a more rational and transparent allocation of resources to schools.

School heads may welcome the move now but not necessarily when they realise that many of their schools may be losers - 60% of secondary schools according to research by the Institute of Fiscal Studies in the Spring (a pdf of the research paper is available).

Michael Gove may be in for another bruising battle.

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