Year after year, budgets remain a concern for state schools within the UK. Last month was no exception when it was announced that the plans to secure a minimum per-pupil budget for school funding was to go ahead for all primary and secondary schools in England. This change to the ‘funding formula’ is said to make the funding fairer and more transparent, according to Education Secretary Justine Greening. The Department for Education has stated that these fairer budgets, along with more allocation of education budgets going into primary and secondary schools, will ensure that every school will receive at least 1% more per pupil by 2019-2020, whilst underfunded schools could expect to receive up to a 3% rise, according to their statistics.

However, this proposal could see many of the schools in England facing serious cuts, according to a warning by the teaching unions. It has been predicted that as many as 88% of the government-funded English schools are predicted to lose money due to this new funding formula, according to the calculations by the School Cuts website. This comes after the blow of a £2.7 million cut to education implemented by the government in 2015.

Angela Rayner, the Shadow Education Secretary, asked the Education Secretary to “admit to the House that her announcement… does nothing to reverse [the previous] cuts and keep [their] promise.” Rayner highlights her concerns that this new formula would result in “real terms cut in school budgets” because of the inflation costs.

These changes in the funding formula were previously announced in December of last year as a solution to the rising complaints that schools in different areas of the country received different budget allocation per pupil. However, this announcement caused many parents to start protests that their schools were destined to miss out on the essential budgets they rely on.

Greening highlighted the problems in the previously ‘outdated system’ in the following comparison: “Coventry receives £510 more per pupil than Plymouth, despite having equal proportions of pupils eligible for free school meals”. Whilst this seems fair, particularly to the schools who are desperately underfunded, the worry for many institutions is that they will lose the money they are currently utilising in the management of their school.

Additionally, the funding is not automatically allocated to the schools. Local authorities will be given control of the budgets to assign to the institutions within their area, which will be regulated.

According to Dr Mary Bousted, the general secretary of NEU (National Education Union), said: “The bottom line is that the government has still not found enough funding for schools.” This has resulted in the unions demanding more funding for schools in their upcoming budgets, but there is worry that this will not materialise.

Whilst it is not recent news that state schools are lacking funding, huge adaptions will need to be made to accommodate these next stages of budget allocations. Institutions will need to be responsive and look to other ways to reduce their costs without adversely affecting their efficiency. This is where cost management consultancy could really help schools take some control of their budgets and identify the areas of their management and processes where they could be more cost-effective.

Whether you are a principal or a financial officer for a state school and are worried about how to make the most of the finances provided to you by the government, get in touch with us today. Our cost reduction analysts can help you to reduce costs in a number of areas including staffing and payroll to the day-to-day management and processes required to run an educational institution.