Flintshire school's funding reform could result in job losses

Published date: 29 January 2014 |
Published by: Staff reporter
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A FUNDING review could result in redundancies and see schools miss out on thousands of pounds.

Flintshire Council is revising the formula it uses to delegate funding to primary and secondary schools across the county.

The aim of the new formula is to ensure all schools receive a “fair” share of the funding available, with council chiefs arguing the current system is outdated.

The review will see funding redistributed throughout schools in Flintshire, with the hardest hit seeing its funding cut of £115,000, while others will see their funding increase.

Any changes will be “dampened” by 75 per cent in the first year to give schools time to adjust to the changes.

But Flintshire Council has warned jobs could also be lost as a result of the reform.

A report to tomorrow’s lifelong learning overview and scrutiny committee meeting says: “The redistribution of resources may result in redundancies in schools.”

Ian Budd, director for lifelong learning at Flintshire Council, said: “Flintshire Council, together with headteacher colleagues has been reviewing the way funding is allocated to schools.

“The current formula dates back many years and is now out of date.

“The aim of the project has been to ensure the funding available is distributed to schools on a fair and equitable basis.

“Any impacts of this change in formula will be dampened by 75 per cent in the first year, which will give schools time to adjust to any changes in funding.”

Consultations with headteachers, school governors and stakeholders have taken place in recent months before the new policy, which is due to be viewed by the lifelong learning overview and scrutiny committee tomorrow, was drafted.

The report says the majority of responses from primary and secondary schools supported the proposals.

The current funding formula was inherited from the former Clwyd County Council, with its roots dating back to 1988.

The report to tomorrow’s meeting says much of the information used was based on the position of Flintshire schools at that time, but although the formula has been updated, there are still many factors now lacking clear rationale.

Many changes have taken place within schools since the formula was originally introduced, including new Welsh Government initiatives.

However, there has, until recently, been no fundamental review by Flintshire Council of its overall school funding methodology.

The total impact of the new formula is based on 2013-14 funding values and, if ratified, will see Mold Alun School lose out on £115,677 in funding, with Hawarden High (£20,941), Holywell High (£16,923) and Connah's Quay High (£4,298) all seeing funding reductions.

The biggest beneficiaries will be Argoed School, which would see a £49,000 funding increase, while St Richard Gwyn, Flint, and St David’s High School, Saltney, would both receive more than £20,000 extra.

Transition arrangements will be implemented over a three year period to allow schools with reduced levels of funding to make necessary adjustments.

The impact of the formula review on Flintshire primary schools is still to be announced.

The revision to the formula is modelled within existing council resources and as such would have no impact on the council’s budget.

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