ASCL comment on NAO school funding report

02/07/2021
Geoff Barton, General Secretary of the Association of School and College Leaders, comments on the National Audit Office (NAO) report ‘School funding in England’.
 
Commenting on the National Audit Office (NAO) report ‘School funding in England’, Geoff Barton, General Secretary of the Association of School and College Leaders, said:
 
“The introduction of a National Funding Formula for schools was the right thing to do because of a long-standing postcode lottery in the amount of funding they were allocated. However, the government’s failure to put sufficient money into the system overall has meant that the cake was never large enough in the first place. The result is that slicing it in a different way has created a new inequity with many schools in deprived areas losing out. These schools support children and young people who face the greatest degree of challenge in their lives and they desperately need this funding. The government has failed them.
 
“To make matters worse, government funding to cover Covid-related costs incurred by schools and colleges has been inadequate, schools have lost out again because of recent changes to the pupil premium system for disadvantaged youngsters, and government investment in education recovery in the wake of the pandemic is so lacklustre that the Education Recovery Commissioner has resigned in protest.
 
“None of this sounds like a government that is ‘levelling up’ or ‘building back better’. This is now looking like empty rhetoric and we urge it to fund the education system properly.”