Commenting as the government publishes its response to a consultation on proposed cuts to local authority school improvement funding, Nick Brook, deputy general secretary of school leaders’ union NAHT, said:
"It is deeply disappointing that the DfE have chosen to push ahead with plans to cut the £50m local authority school improvement grant, despite the vast majority of respondents to the consultation raising concerns.
"The DfE appear to acknowledge that the support and challenge provided by Local Authorities through this grant is worthwhile. However, their solution – that local authorities should now top-slice school budgets to make up the £50m hole in their accounts – simply shifts the funding cut along the line, from councils to schools to pupils.
"Some will see this as a thinly veiled attempt to turn up the heat on LA maintained schools, by making it financially less appealing to stay under LA control than join an academy trust. In pursuing their academisation policy it is imperative that government remain even-handed. Around 4 million children are still taught in LA schools, and government has a responsibility to ensure that all schools are supported to be as good as they can be, irrespective of governance arrangements."
First published 11 January 2022