An enquiry into the funding of schools and colleges has been unveiled by the House of Commons’ Education Committee.

Its aim is to help inform the Department for Education and their bid for funding educational needs in England and whether a longer term vision is required for this purpose.

The spending review will determine the overall levels that public funding for colleges and schools will enjoy.

This is not part of the government’s reforms in the way that money is distributed to schools with their national funding formula.

The committee says its enquiry will examine whether this longer term plan is necessary for educational investment and to determine what resources are required to ensure that colleges and schools will get the support they need.

Look at targeted funding such as the pupil premium

The aim is also to look at targeted funding, such as the pupil premium, and ways in which the national funding formula can be implemented.

Robert Halfon, chair of the committee, said: “Young people spend 13 years in education but the government plans its investment every three years for education.

“We need for funding not to be driven by a Treasury process but by a longer term assessment about what our nation’s priorities are for skills and education.”

He added that the schools are facing increasing cost pressures and colleges and sixth forms are also facing serious challenges to providing high quality education.

Quality education can be a driver for productivity

He said quality education can be a driver for productivity and social justice.

Mr Halfon added: “Our spending review will help offer an opportunity to close the funding gap and this process will be informed by the opinions of teachers, parents and pupils.”

Mr Halfon says that the enquiry should result in a 10-year vision that will be used for boosting education investment.

The general secretary of the NAHT, the school leaders’ union, Paul Whiteman, said: “It’s an important move by the committee and college and school funding is an issue that one go away.

“There are too many teachers, parents and school leaders who are pushing for more money for children for this government to ignore the calls any more. Hopefully, the focus from the committee will open the door and we will see fresh investment.”

The ASCL’s general secretary, Geoff Barton, said: “We welcome enquiries into the funding for colleges and schools and it comes at a time of severe financial pressures. This funding crisis is putting education standards at risk and damaging social mobility. Young people deserve better.”


More information

If you would like to make a written submission to the Education Committee then the deadline for doing so is 30 May 2018.