The Governing Body’s 2016 Annual Governance Statement published in December included the following commentary on our school’s funding position:
“In response to what we believe are local inequalities in the allocation of national funds to Barnsley schools (Silkstone receives one of Barnsley’s lowest per pupil funding allocations) which compounds an inequitable national schools’ funding formula (Barnsley is one of the lowest funded school local authorities in the country), the governing body and school leadership team have lobbied the local authority for a fairer local funding allocation. Unfortunately no funding changes are planned until the government introduces its proposed national Fairer Funding changes in 2018, details of which have not yet been announced. In the meantime there remains very significant pressure on school budgets…..The pressure to achieve a balanced budget and yet maintain high quality teaching and learning for our children continues to be challenging, but collaborative working, including with other schools, continues to provide opportunities to mitigate these pressures.”
Many of you will have seen recent commentary on the government’s proposals for changes to school funding which they claim will result in fairer funding for schools (National Funding Formula). These proposals include details of the funding each school should receive if the proposals are implemented. As one of the lowest funded schools in one of the lowest funded local authorities in England, the governing body and leadership hoped that the new National Funding Formula would indeed deliver the much-promised fairer funding for our school and so for our children. Sadly, this is not the case. The proposals show that our funding would increase by only 1.2% in 2 years time from the current base-line position. In fact amongst the local pyramid of 10 primary schools, Silkstone’s is one of the better outcomes, with most of the local primaries receiving funding cuts from an already low base position.
We wanted to let you know that the governing body and leadership team continues to lobby hard on this point. We have now written to Angela Smith MP to draw her attention to our current position, and also to ask her to appeal to the Chancellor of the Exchequer, Phillip Hammond, to make more funds available to schools in his Budget on 8th March. A copy of our letter to Angela Smith is attached for your information.
We will let you know when we get a reply. In the meantime, we want to reassure the whole school community that the leadership team and governing body continues to work extremely hard to achieve a balanced budget and to ensure that our very limited funds are well-spent.
Chair of Governors