Education Minister refutes Melton schools’ cuts claims

Nick Gibb MP PPP-160324-131441001
Nick Gibb MP PPP-160324-131441001
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Education Minister Nick Gibb has assured parents that large cuts in Melton school budgets predicted by the National Union of Teachers (NUT) were inaccurate.

We reported in last week’s Melton Times that the union was warning that some town schools would lose 12 per cent of their funds and rural schools up to 29 per cent.

This, the NUT said, was due to a new method of calculating school funding, which is currently the subject of a consultation process.

But Mr Gibb told the Melton Times he did not recognise figures released by the union.

He said: “The story in last week’s edition of the newspaper reported that a number of schools are facing funding cuts when in fact they would gain under the NFF (national funding formula).

“For example, Brownlow Primary School would gain by 2.2 per cent, an uplift of £44,000 – as opposed to the 8 per cent reduction reported.”

He added: “Separately, while it is true that some schools will see reductions as we bring the funding system up to date, we have built significant protections in to the formula, so that no school will face a reduction of more than 1.5 per cent per pupil per year or 3 per cent per pupil overall.”

The Department of Education said it was not aware of how the NUT had made its calculations predicting the funding cuts for Melton schools.

It said John Ferneley College and Long Field Academy would both gain, by 7.1 per cent and 5.9 per cent, respectively, instead of having their budgets reduced.

Some primary schools in the town would lose funding, it confirmed, but on a much smaller scale than the NUT had predicted.

Swallowdale Primary would lose 1.4 per cent (not 12 per cent); The Grove Primary would suffer a 2.6 per cent loss (not 12 per cent); St Mary’s CofE Primary would lose 2.6 per cent (not 11 per cent) and St Francis Catholic Primary faces a 1.7 per cent reduction (not 10 per cent).

Go online to www.consult.education.gov.uk/funding-policy-unit/schools-national-funding-formula2/ to comment on the consultation into the new school funding proposals.