ASCL welcomes the direct national funding formula (NFF) as supporting the principles of fairness, transparency, and predictability. We acknowledge the steps taken to address distribution inequities since 2018, and we accept that local flexibilities were sensible during the first stage of implementation of the NFF. However, we did not anticipate that this would be a feature of a direct NFF.
We are disappointed that proposals for a direct NFF allow provision for movement between blocks. This continues to facilitate concealment of the inadequacy of the dedicated schools grants (DSG) at national level. In the funding year 2022/23 around half of all Local Authorities (LAs) plan to move funding from the schools block to the high needs block. Block transfers undermine the basic principle of the NFF that all schools with the same characteristics will receive the same funding.
Full response to consultation