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School funding changes ‘unacceptable’, says MP

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Funding for local schools could be radically altered under government plans

Joan Ryan urges government to reconsider plans to reform funding arrangements for local education

Schools in Enfield face “unacceptable” budgetary pressures and the government must reconsider plans to change the way education is funded, local MP Joan Ryan has said.

Joan Ryan, the MP for Enfield North

In a submission to Education Secretary Justine Greening, the Enfield North MP said the proposed changes would “in no way address the financial pressures facing so many schools” across the borough.

“It is clear from the series of meetings I have held with headteachers and staff from schools in my constituency and from the representations I have received from concerned parents that we are facing a difficult and damaging funding settlement,” Ms Ryan said in a statement.

“Even after accounting for the impact of the government’s national funding formula (NFF) proposals, a significant number of mainstream and special educational needs schools in Enfield North, and across the borough, will be put into a position that is financially unsustainable and could seriously compromise education standards.”

She continued: “Schools in Enfield are facing a number of budgetary pressures already – from significant increases in employer National Insurance and pension contributions to unfunded pay rises for staff, and from cuts to local government services to a growing number of children with special educational needs and disabilities – which are not even addressed by the NFF.

“This situation is unacceptable and I will continue to campaign for schools in Enfield to be given a fair deal and for school funding, across the board, to be levelled up, not down.”

The government’s proposed reforms could lead to spending cuts of up to 7 percent per pupil in English state schools.

The NFF, which is to be introduced for all schools starting from September next year, was designed to ensure similar schools in different parts of the country receive a similar level of funding per pupil.

But experts from the Institute for Fiscal Studies (IFS) have warned the it may not be rolled out across all schools until at least 2024.