Thursday 8 December 2011

Academies received extra money ‘by mistake’

Share this:

The Financial Times reports that

“Hundreds of state schools that took part in the government’s flagship academies reform programme last year were accidentally given large incentives to do so, often worth hundreds of thousands of pounds.”

An average 1,000 strong secondary school gained £118,000 if it converted in 2010/11.

This ‘mistake’ has apparently now been rectified, although 790 academies that have converted more recently may still receive extra funding.

The FT states

“But the overfunding was worth more than £100,000 over a full year for a 1,000-pupil secondary school in 74 of the 150 boroughs in 2010-11. In 28 local authorities, the error was more than £200,000. In 10 boroughs, the expected potential benefit of conversion was greater than £300,000 a year.”

A DfE spokesman said: “The government has been very clear that the current [funding] system is flawed. That is why we made immediate changes to the formula last year and have since had detailed discussions with local authorities on how to make the system fair and transparent in the future.”

What will the government do now? Will they reclaim the money as they would surely have done if any other school had been mistakenly overfunded? Will they increase the funding to other schools to match the academy windfall?

It has been clear all along that extra funding has been the carrot that the government have used to persuade schools to convert to academies. As the number of academies has risen, and the economic situation has worsened, the extra money is now drying up. With the carrot gone the government has now been left with the stick – telling schools that they are ‘underperforming’ and attempting to scare them into becoming academies. This is meeting real resistance in primary schools across the country.

If you liked this post please share it:

5 comments

  1. Parent Power said:

    If you use the ready reckoners for funding Academies and Free Schools on the D of E website you can see the difference in funding for different areas….there is a set amount per pupil plus the “refund”/pupil amount taken from the LEA. Compare Leeds and Bradford
    . The new free school Bradford Girls Grammar ( which will still be allowed to retain entrance testing even though state funded gets substantially more than an equivalent school in the Leeds area.

    9 December 2011 at 8:24pm
  2. Parent Power said:

    What baffles me is that no one in the media or web is challenging the disgraceful new Admissions Code due to come before Parliament soon. Hidden in this code are the clauses that allow Grammar schools to return ( private schools becoming free schools retaining 11 plus) , SEN children with less right to a good school than a teacher’s child and the ability of any school to increase admission numbers to procure extra fundign with no account of impact on neighbouring schools.

    9 December 2011 at 8:29pm
  3. RJRF said:

    We’ve been trying here in Otley …letters to all MP’s etc no luck…even emailed the NUT and Anti_Academies sites…no interest…. it’s baffling…unless of course it suits LAbour to pass it to use as a stick in the next election..maybe our kids are just pawns.

    9 December 2011 at 8:33pm
  4. Jane said:

    RJRF: I don’t think that it is a lack of interest on the part of the AAA. However, with just one full-time worker, against the 100 civil servants working on pushing the academies programme and the large amount of money going to the New Schools Network, the AAA is dependent on the help of lots of volunteers around the country, particularly in putting together information on things like this.

    16 December 2011 at 2:04pm
  5. ellie said:

    In my opinion, as RJRF orrectly stated they treat our kids like ‘pawns’. Its useless. I mean, all 4 of my kids attend Bradford Grammar and i am able to pay for them. Imagine how hard it is for the less fortunate….

    13 February 2012 at 9:34pm