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Education chief offers assurances about change

By Burton Mail  |  Posted: November 10, 2012

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AN education chief has spoken out about potential changes to school budgets across South Derbyshire.

Mike Longden, Derbyshire County Council’s cabinet member for education, wanted to reassure parents and teachers that despite changes ‘the excellent achievements of our pupils is paramount and everything we do is focused on supporting their continuing improvements’.

This comes after the Mail revealed that under proposals being considered by the authority, that would see potential alterations to the Schools’ Funding Framework for the 2013-14 school year, 15 schools would have benefited from a cash boost but 22 would have lost out to the tune of a combined £271,208 based on this year’s budgets.

Councillor Longden said: “The Government is changing the funding arrangements for schools as current arrangements are overly complex and can result in inconsistent and unfair allocations.

“New arrangements will allocate budgets on a much simpler basis which will make it easier for everyone to understand why schools get what they get.

“Inevitably, when changes are made to the way resources are allocated there will always be winners and losers.

“The Government itself recognises changes will mean some schools will receive less money and has put in place arrangements to ensure year on year losses are kept to manageable levels.”

The calculations showed that William Allitt, in Sunnyside, Newhall, would have lost out on £54,174 but John Port School, in Etwall, would have been boosted to the tune of £183,470.

Councillor Longden added: “It must be remembered that figures quoted show the impact of the changes had they been applied in the current financial year. The actual budgets for next year have still to be determined.

“The Government’s Pupil Premium funding, which will help the most disadvantaged pupils, is set to rise by 50 per cent next year and will bring around £500,000 to schools in South Derbyshire.

“Once the outcome of the new framework is clear the Government has said they will look at what changes might be needed for 2014-15.

“Unlike other parts of the public sector, schools’ funding has been largely protected from the full impact of the deficit reduction measures.

“I would reassure readers that Derbyshire is committed to implementing the national changes as sensitively as possible and will continue to support schools to manage the impact locally.”

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