Balls announces funding increase for schools

Real-term rises in funding, financial stability for schools, and a fairer system for school funding were announced this week by the Schools Secretary, Ed Balls.

He also provided more information on how schools and the government can save money. Taken together these measures will:
deliver the guarantees to parents and pupils including good discipline in all schools and one-to-one tuition for all children in primary school and Year 7 who fall behind
meet the September guarantee to all school leavers of a place in college or training
maintain additional teachers and support staff in schools, and
take forward the Building Schools for the Future pledge to re-build or refurbish all secondary schools.

Balls said the government will continue to give extra money for deprived pupils, and wants to see that money actually reach them. However, he backed a system run locally by schools and councils, not dictated by central government.

Among the key details announced were:
a consultation on the Dedicated Schools Grant (DSG), to lay the foundations for how schools should be funded in the future
details on the average pupil increase in funding for 2011-13, in addition to the 2010-11 increases
a commitment to maintain the Minimum Funding Guarantee providing the stability and certainty that schools need to effectively plan ahead, and
plans for a Local Pupil Premium, where extra deprivation money follows the poorest pupils, based on a system decided and distributed locally.

Ed Balls said: "Our ambition is to have a world-class schools system in which there is excellence not just for some but for all and where every pupil gets the support they need to overcome the additional barriers they face. We set out the next stage of our reforms to achieve this ambition in our White Paper – Your child, your schools, our future: building a 21st century schools system. But we also know that we will have to do so in tougher times.

"I have chosen to protect frontline budgets, pass on real terms increases to schools, make tough choices to find savings in the DCSF unprotected budget and support schools to make efficiencies.”