Parents urged to oppose school funding cut
3:00pm Fri Mar 03, 2017
 
The Minster School, Southwell, is facing a £166,000 per year funding cut, if a new government formula is approved.
The Minster School, Southwell, is facing a funding cut
The Minster School, Southwell, is facing a funding cut
The head, Mr Matthew Parris, said the proposal caused deep concern and urged parents to oppose the changes.

He said: “The concept of the new formula was to address the rebalancing of underfunding in parts of the country, such as Nottinghamshire, but, as a result, schools such as the Minster will drastically see a reduction in their funding.

“I do not disagree that some schools will receive additional funding. It is laudable that there will be more support for vulnerable people, but that is taking money away from other schools.

“Despite the fixed income, every year there are incremental salary increases and this has been considerably exacerbated by the government’s increase of National Insurance contributions to be made by employers and increased pension contributions.

“In real terms I and the governors have already contended with approximately £125,000 annual staff cost increase, and further increase of £220,000 in pension and National Insurance contributions, bearing in mind these are annual costs to be met.”

Last year the school made nine redundancies, which meant the average class size in the lower school was 30.

Mr Parris said the school had worked hard in recent years to balance the books, because funding has been frozen since 2014-15.

Mr Parris has raised the issue with Southwell MP Mr Robert Jenrick.

"The new formula will have much more emphasis on deprived areas."

Mr Jenrick has invited Mr Parris and other heads to a meeting with Mr Nick Gibb, the minister of state for schools, later this month.

“Nottinghamshire, as a county, has historically been underfunded by the old formula,” said Mr Jenrick.

“However, with the new formula, there will be a 0.8% increase in funding for Nottinghamshire.

“The new formula will have much more emphasis on deprived areas.

“Schools like the Minster School, which have very low deprivation and a good level of achievement, will see their funding fall modestly while in Newark, where there is a high level of deprivation, the schools will benefit from the new formula.

“I want to help and represent Minster School, as I know they feel very strongly about this.

“I have arranged for a meeting with Nick Gibb, the minister of state for schools and I have invited Matthew Parish along with the headteachers from Lowe’s Wong schools and John Tomasevic, chief executive of the Torch Academy Gateway Trust.

“Although the new funding formula is in its draft format, the meeting will give us a chance to address any concerns.”

The second phase of consultation is open to the public until March 22 at 5pm.

Mr Parris is urging parents to express their feedback on the overall formula.

The survey is on the Department for Education website.


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