Exmouth Community College faces drop in funding

PUBLISHED: 06:30 30 December 2016

Archant

Exmouth Community College could lose out on nearly £200,000 a year under new government and county council proposals.

Ministers have launched a consultation on a national ‘fairer funding’ formula, which, if applied, would see the college’s funding reduced by £79,000 a year.

This comes on top of proposed changes by Devon County Council, which is considering reducing the grants it makes to schools by £55 per pupil, in order to pay for ‘high needs’ education for young people with special educational needs and disabilities. This would cost the college £120,000 per year.

Reacting to the ‘fairer funding’ proposals, college chair of governors Jill Elson said: “We are very disappointed at the loss of £79,000, because we were hoping for an increase, as Devon is one of the lower- funded councils and we have to find this from our budget.

“We are very concerned about the loss when we have been asked to increase our pupil numbers to 2,900 by 2020.”

Devon schools have long lobbied for fairer funding from central government and had been expecting an increase.

The proposed new funding formula will give schools a bigger lump sum to pay for services, but less per pupil.

Ms Elson said she had written to East Devon MP Sir Hugo Swire about the proposals.

Mr Swire said: “I welcome that the Government is committed to reforming the school funding system. The current system is outdated and inefficient, meaning that schools in areas such as Devon have not received their fair share of funding.

“However, I am disappointed that, under the Government’s initial proposals, some schools in East Devon would lose funding.

“This would clearly be entirely unacceptable and I will be raising this matter in Parliament.

“It is important to remember that these proposals only mark the beginning of a lengthy consultation and I would encourage anyone with an interest in how our schools are funded to take part in this.”

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