Chi Onwurah, MP for Newcastle upon Tyne Central, asked the Schools Minister Nick Gibb whether the Department for Education had made an assessment of the effect of the area cost adjustment on school funding in the North East.
The question followed a meeting between the MP and SCHOOLS NorthEast during which the growing concerns around the new National Funding Formula, and the Area Cost Adjustment in particular, were raised.
The Schools Minister replied:
Our proposals for a national funding formula include an area cost adjustment to reflect the different labour market costs across the country. Schools in the North East would not receive an uplift through the area cost adjustment, as it is only applied to areas where labour market costs are particularly high. Our proposed national funding formula would increase funding for 622 schools in the North East, with funding for schools in the region as a whole increasing by 1%.
The consultation on the national funding formula will conclude on 22 March. We will confirm final arrangements in the summer, and introduce the formula from April 2018.
While the NFF will increase the funding for some schools in the North East, the situation is predicted to worsen across the country, with the IFS forecasting a drop of 6.5% in real-term spending on schools over the course of this parliament. The Area Cost Adjustment will only divert resources from schools in disadvantaged areas to affluent boroughs.
SCHOOLS NorthEast has strongly campaigned against the ACA in our response to the first stage of the NFF consultation, and will continue to in our final response by the 22 March deadline.