Fair Funding for Sheffield Schools
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We call upon the government to find additional funding for education and use some of that additional funding to target areas, such as Sheffield, which are not receiving a fair share currently.
Sheffield schools are facing a funding crisis. There are two issues which come together to cause this issue in Sheffield.
- Education funding is no longer sufficient
The government says that there is more money and this is true in cash terms - BUT the combination of eight years of stand-still budgets and decisions around national insurance, funding of pay increases, etc. mean that school budgets have had a significant real terms cut over this period. This is exacerbated by the impact of cuts on partners and the impact of austerity on families – both of which have raised the level of demand on schools.
- Sheffield does not receive a fair share of that funding
The figures (for 2018/19) below illustrate this clearly – the comparison with other core cities is stark.
Core City Additional Funding Per Pupil
Manchester + £743
Nottingham + £589
Birmingham + £552
Liverpool + £478
Bristol + £175
Newcastle + £154
Leeds + £80
Core City Additional Funding for Sheffield if funded at this per pupil rate
Manchester + £52.8m
Nottingham + £41.8m
Birmingham + £39.2m
Liverpool + £34m
Bristol + £12.5m
Newcastle + £11m
Leeds + £5.7m Sheffield -
What is becoming clearer is that the issue may not be National Funding Formula (NFF) itself but the factors that are applied to it to make the system ‘stable’.
These stabilising factors (minimum funding guarantee, transitional protection, funding floor, area coast adjustment and the gains cap) very significantly slow the rate at which Sheffield receives its fair funding.
It is obviously appropriate to seek stability in the system but the combined impact of these factors effectively means that Sheffield will not get fair funding quickly enough to avoid the crisis we currently face.
We therefore call upon the government to urgently find additional funding for education and use some of that additional funding to target areas, such as Sheffield, which are not receiving a fair share currently.
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