COMMONS

School and college funding inquiry launched

19 April 2018

The Education Committee launches inquiry to inform the Department for Education’s bid for funding for schools and colleges, and to consider whether a longer-term vision needs to be taken of education funding in England.

The inquiry

While the Government is already reforming the way in which money is distributed to schools through the introduction of a national funding formula for schools, the spending review process will determine the overall level of public funding for schools and colleges. The Committee’s new inquiry aims to examine whether a longer-term plan is needed for investment in education and what resources are required to ensure schools and colleges get the support they need. The inquiry will also look at the effectiveness of targeted funding such as the pupil premium and how the new national funding formula will be implemented.

Investment in education

Launching the inquiry, Rt Hon Robert Halfon MP, Chair of the Committee, said:

"Young people are in compulsory education for around 13 years, yet Government only plans investment in education every three or four years. We need to move to a situation where education funding is not driven primarily by Treasury processes but rather by a long-term strategic assessment of our national priorities for education and skills.

Rising cost pressures faced by schools, sixth form and FE colleges have led to serious challenges in the provision of high quality education which can be a key driver for social justice and productivity. The Spending Review provides the Government with an opportunity to help close the funding gap and it is vital this process is informed by the views of parents, teachers and pupils.

Some areas of public expenditure are informed by an overall target, whether it’s 0.7% of gross national income on international aid or 2% of gross domestic product on defence. Other areas are vocal about their level of need, such as in the case made for greater expenditure on health services. I hope our inquiry will help give ordinary people a role in creating a ten-year vision for education investment.  The Prime Minister recently signalled a new approach to funding the NHS; I hope the Education Committee can help to make the case for a similar plan for expenditure on our schools and colleges.

Education provides a vital ladder of opportunity for our young people. This inquiry will examine whether it is time to have a ten-year plan for our schools and colleges, and what resources are required to put this plan into action."

Terms of reference - call for written submissions

The Education Committee invites written submissions by Wednesday 30 May 2018 on the following issues:

  • What the Department for Education’s priorities should be for the next Spending Review period as they relate to schools and colleges
  • Whether the spending review cycle is the best mechanism for determining overall expenditure on schools and colleges, and what that level should be
  • The effectiveness of targeted funding such as the pupil premium, and its relationship to core education funding
  • The practical implementation of the national funding formula

Closing date for written submissions: Wednesday 30 May 2018.

 Further information

Image: iStockphoto

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