Justine Greening raids free schools budget for £1.3bn education bailout

Justine Greening raids free schools budget for £1.3bn education bailout

Justine Greening raids free schools budget for £1.3bn education bailout

Ms Greening said: "I'm confirming our plans to get on with introducing a national funding formula in 2018-19, and I can announce that this will additionally now be supported by significant extra investment into the core schools budget over the next two years".

The government has promised an extra £1.3 billion for schools and high-needs programme over the next two years.

"Together they will give schools a firm foundation that will enbable them to continue to raise standards, promote school mobility and to give every child the best possible education and the best opportunities for the future".

The education secretary told MPs that £420 million would be found from the main schools capital budget, the majority of which would come from healthy pupils capital funding.

She said the government would press ahead with plans to introduce a national funding formula, as the current system is "unfair, opaque and out of date".

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But shadow education secretary Angela Rayner said the announcement was "nothing more than a sticking plaster".

"Per pupil funding will still fall over the course of this Parliament unless further action is taken urgently", she said.

Under the funding boost, the schools budget will go up from £41billion to £42.2bn in 2018/19.

"The government is promising some new funds for our schools, but in the wake of the cuts already made and with pupil numbers set to rise this increase simply isn't enough".

She asked: "Does her decision to seek savings from the free-schools programme mean she finally agrees with those of us on this side of the House who believe that the programme has always been inefficient?"

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Ms Greening said this investment would increase the basic amount of funding for every pupil - with up to three per cent gain per year per pupil for underfunded schools and a 0.5 per cecnt increase per pupil for every school.

But he warned: "We are concerned that this is money saved from elsewhere in education budget and not "new" money from the Treasury and we will be examining the implications".

More details on the shake up of how schools are funded will be announced in September.

The extra funding will mean that the total schools budget will increase by £2.6billion between this year and 2019/20, and per pupil funding will now be maintained in real terms for the remaining two years of the spending review period to 2019/20, Ms Greening said.

Chris Keates, general secretary of the teaching union the NASUWT, said:"This appears to be a recycled announcement of recycled money, reflecting previous ministerial statements".

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The proposals will mean per pupil funding will be protected in "real terms", Ms Greening said.

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