Barnet Council warn schools face "financial challenges" from National Funding Formula cuts

Barnet Council's end of year performance report warns that a growing number of the borough's schools are facing financial challenges because of the new National Funding Formula.

The report, which was discussed at last week's Performance & Contract Management Committee (4 July), states that: "It is estimated that Barnet schools on average will lose 1% of current funding by 2019/20 as a result of the National Funding Formula. This comes on top of growing pressures on schools budgets arising from annual pay rises and increases in employers' National Insurance and pension contributions. As a result, a growing number of schools are facing financial challenges."

Labour councillors are running a petition opposing the National Funding Formula cuts and calling for a fair deal for Barnet's schools. 

Labour's Children, Education, Libraries & Safeguarding Spokesperson, Cllr Pauline Coakley Webb said: "To say that our schools are facing "financial challenges" is an understatement - many are approaching a budget cliff edge in two to three years time.

"The cuts from the National Funding Formula, per pupil funding cash freeze, and rising costs mean schools are facing a funding tsunami.

"But what is the political leadership of Barnet Council doing about it? The answer is, very little. The Conservative Lead Member, Cllr Reuben Thompstone, has said the funding formula is "fair" and he has refused to support our motions calling for the Government to level-up schools funding.

"After the general election the Secretary of State said that no school will lose out under the new formula, but that's not what the figures suggest and no new money has been announced.

"Schools really need the security of knowing that their funding will be sufficient year on year, otherwise it makes it difficult for Head Teachers to plan their budgets. This uncertainty just puts additional and unnecessary pressure on an already impossible situation.

"We will continue to call for the Conservative administration to lobby hard and publicly against the cuts proposed in the National Funding Formula."

Ends.

Notes: 

For more information contact cllr.p.coakleywebb@barnet.gov.uk
To contact the Barnet Labour Group: 020 8359 2568
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