UNISON cautiously welcomes government’s school funding rethink

Union welcomes the u-turn on proposals to cut per pupil funding in many schools across England, but still believes many schools will suffer from below inflation funding increase

The Department for Education has published its response to the consultation on the future of school funding in England.

Following a high profile campaign by UNISON and the other education unions, the DfE has withdrawn its proposals to cut the per pupil funding in many schools across the country.

It now says that instead of a flat settlement for schools in England it will increase funding by £416m in 2018/19, with a further increase of £884m in 2019/20.

The government states that no schools will have cuts in per pupil funding and that new minimum per pupil funding levels will be introduced that will significantly increase funding in some of the lowest funded authorities.

However the Institute for Fiscal Studies has warned that schools could still be left short in real terms due to current inflation levels.

UNISON national secretary for education Jon Richards said: “We cautiously welcome the improvements from the original proposals but believe that many schools will still struggle with this below inflation increase.

“There is still a lot of uncertainty for schools about what will happen after 2020.

“We will undertake further analysis of the impact of the proposals on schools and local authorities across England and work with our sister unions, schools and parent groups to try to get the government to fully fund all schools.”