We all want fairer funding in Cornwall’s Schools
I have been contacted by parents and teachers about information being put in the public domain about school funding in Cornwall. I, as has Cornwall Council, have long campaigned for fairer funding in schools in Cornwall. However, some of the information released by a Union is rather flawed. This has resulted in misinformation being shared.
I am also not often in agreement with the DfE on its funding formula but I share the concerns of the Department for Education over the accuracy of the figures produced by the unions’ calculator.
In the case of Cornwall the figures appear to be based on an assumption of 65,092 pupils in our schools. According to the Autumn census (the most recent figures available), there are currently 70,263 school aged pupils on role in schools in Cornwall (including those in sixth form but excluding those in nursery and colleges.
The level of inaccuracy in the pupil figures used by the unions means that the figures for any cuts in funding are also inaccurate. We know that education in Cornwall has historically been underfunded by successive Governments but using inaccurate figures in this way does little to support the unions’ case for additional funding and creates concern among schools, teachers, parents and pupils.
The Council has robustly responded to the consultation on the proposed new national funding formula and remain hopeful that, if introduced by the Government, it could mean millions of pounds of extra funding for schools in Cornwall. However, as we said previously, we need to look closely at the detail to see how the formula could impact on individual schools in Cornwall. The difference in funding allocation will affect schools in different ways, and not all schools will see an increase in their funding.
I am not disagreeing with the sentiment of Cornwall being underfunded and how that must change. However, if you are going to raise the issue, you have to get your data facts right. Therefore, Cornwall Council felt it necessary to issue statement to clarify the situation and in turn stop unnecessary angst with teacher and parents.