Archived News - 2012

School Funding Reform: Saturday, 15th December, 2012

SCHOOL FUNDING REFORM


School funding has become a topical issue for schools and local authorities recently. The uneasiness and confusions surrounding this all important topic for schools prompted the Directorate of Education Funding Group to notify all Directors of Children services throughout the country to provide clarification and assurances on the department of education’s commitment to ensure its continuous support for children’s education in the country.

The main aim of the letter from the director of education funding group was to assure schools and local authorities that, the Minimum Funding Guarantee (MFG) will not be scrapped, but continue to apply at -1.5 per pupil in 2013-14 and 2014-15. The said letter also gave assurances that the MFG will continue to apply even after 2014-15. This assurance from the director thus give a breathing space and assurances to all concerned in delivering quality education in schools to concentrate on what they do best than to worry about funding for pupils.

MAIN AIM FOR SCHOOL FUNDING REFORMS


  • To simplify the school revenue funding system.
  • Improve transparency.
  • To improve quality and choice for young people and their families.
  • A move towards pupil-driven funding system


MAIN THEMES/ CHANGES OF THE SCHOOL FUNDING REFORM


  • No minimum threshold for the basic entitlement for pupils.
  • The income deprivation affecting children index (IDAC) has been reviewed, allowing local authorities to use six IDACI bands, rather than five.
  • Lump sum maximum cap increased from £200,000.00
  • Local authorities to retain some funding for pupil growth, allowing schools to put their good use rather than retain some to be used by local authorities for pupil growth.

PUPIL PREMIUM: Tuesday, 4th December, 2012

PUPIL PREMIUM


Pupil premium is a new government initiative that seeks to provide extra funding to pupils from deprived communities. The rationale behind this noble idea is to ensure that no pupil is left out of the need to obtain basic education and the advantages that go along with it because of poverty. The main indicator has been that of pupils who qualify for free school meals as a yardstick in determining those who qualifies for extra cash to help them achieve their full potential in the educational system. The new pupil premium level for 2012- 13 has been pegged at £623 per pupil. The government has allocated £1.25 billion for pupil premium for 2012-13.

HOW ARE PUPILS IDENTIFIED FOR THE PREMIUM


The department of education will notify schools about the list of all pupils that qualify for the pupil premium on annual basis. Schools have to publish details of their pupil premium allocation, and plans for spending in the current year. They are also required to provide a statement confirming the previous year’s allocation, how the money was spent and the impact that the money spent has had on the educational attainment of their disadvantaged pupils.

THE ROLE OF SCHOOLS AND PARENTS IN PUPIL PREMIUM


Schools and parents are not required to submit any input towards the identification and assessment of pupils for the premium. All data in relation the award is provided by the department of education.

Pupil Data: Monday, 1st October, 2012


By law schools are required to keep curricular and educational records for each pupil, and to disclose these records to parents and pupils, report at least once a year to parents on their child’s progress. Pupil data plays an important role in the day to day administration of educational institutions. Data collected in the form of names, ages, background, parents, performance etc is essential to providing feedback and evaluating pupil’s progress throughout their academic life. Pupil data also provides the tools for comparable data on key aspects of education systems across the country.

Data Collection


Pupil data can be captured in many ways with the initial application forms forming the basis for the schools records. However, the performance, behaviour, attendance, progress etc are all captured and stored for the well being of the pupil and the school.

Cost Implications


It is always imperative to ensure that the budget allocated for record keeping is not exceeded to ensure efficient information management for the school.

Timing


The need to ensure that all the right details of the pupil is captured cannot be over emphasised as it ensures that the school has the necessary records to function effectively and efficiently.

Data Protection


As independent public bodies, schools are responsible for the collation, retention, storage and security of all data that they produce and hold for their pupils. The pupil information Regulations requires that a pupil’s educational record is made available for their parent to see free of charge, within 15 school days of receipt of a parent’s written request. Care must however be made to ensure that pupil data is protected at all times.

Consistent Financial Reporting: Monday, 1st October, 2012

http://www.education.gov.uk/a009978/consistent-fin...The consistent Financial Reporting (CFR) Framework provides a standardised financial reporting for all schools to follow and show a national picture on how schools spend their budget. In effect, the CFR serves as a benchmark that facilitates proper running of schools throughout the country.

CFR RETURNS


Schools maintained by local authorities are required by law to submit a CFR return at the end of every financial year. The CFR guidelines provide detailed information on the composition and how the return is to be compiled. According to the Framework, schools can submit their returns in the following ways:


  • Using the DfeS’ data collection site
  • Using the school’s CFR software if it has been upgraded.


INCOME


Income forms a key component of the CFR returns and this mainly consists of funds received from the local authority for the running of the school. Other notable income will include


  • SEN Fund
  • Standard funds
  • Other government grants
  • Income from facilities and services.
  • Income from catering if the school runs its own catering
  • Donations
  • Income from contributions to visits.


EXPENDITURE


The key expenditure headings stipulated by the framework are the following:



  • Service Contract – Building, maintenance, grounds, cleaning, catering etc.
  • Teaching staff
  • Supply teachers
  • Education support staff
  • Premises staff
  • Administration staff
  • Development and training

Further information can be found at:


http://www.education.gov.uk/a009978/consistent-fin...


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