Stephen Timms – 2016 Parliamentary Question to the Department for Education

The below Parliamentary question was asked by Stephen Timms on 2016-03-08.

To ask the Secretary of State for Education, what estimate she has made of the cost to school budgets of (a) pupil mobility, (b) staff turnover, (c) pupils not speaking English at home and (d) pupils with special educational needs.

Mr Sam Gyimah

We recently published our consultations on national funding formulae for schools and high needs funding. A national funding formula will put an end to currently unfair arrangements where children with the same needs attract different amounts of money simply because of where they live. We believe that the national funding formula should target funding to pupils who are likely to face additional barriers in realising their potential and are proposing to include additional needs factors including for English as an additional language. For pupils with special educational needs (SEN), we propose that mainstream schools should continue to be responsible for the first £6,000 of costs in respect of each of their pupils with SEN, and receive top-up funding from the local authority for costs in excess of £6,000. Local authorities reported that they will allocate £750m to primary and secondary schools in 2015-16 in the form of top-up funding for pupils with SEN.

Under current local funding formulae, the total amount allocated to school budgets in relation to pupil mobility is £24m for 2015-16 and for English as an additional language, it is £267m. It is for school leaders to determine how best to use their full budget so that all pupils, including mobile pupils, pupils with English as an additional language and those with special educational needs, can reach their full potential.