Northumberland councillor calls for schools' funding shake-up

The education lead at Tory-run Northumberland County Council is calling on the party’s leadership hopefuls to rip up schools funding policies.

By Ben O'Connell
Thursday, 20 June, 2019, 14:43
Coun Wayne Daley.

Coun Wayne Daley, council deputy leader and cabinet member for children’s services, vowed to “hold to account” those seeking to be Prime Minister, “because they have all said they will put more money into education, which is fine, but Northumberland has some very particular challenges”.

He said he will be challenging candidates with a simple question: “How can we provide an outstanding education with a National Funding Formula that does not recognise the unique challenges in Northumberland?

“We need a regional funding formula, which allows us discretion and to provide money where it’s needed; it’s not just about big and small schools.”

In December 2016, the Department for Education (DfE) announced plans for a new formula to remove discrepancies, but there are concerns that while some schools will gain, others will lose out.

Coun Daley said indicative figures for next year show that no schools in Northumberland would lose out, although some budgets would stay the same.

He added: “There’s more money in the pot, but it’s going into pensions, salary increases and National Insurance contributions, so at best we are at a standstill.”