Schools in Flintshire facing funding cut under review plans

Published date: 04 February 2014 |
Published by: Owen Evans 
Read more articles by Owen Evans  Email reporter


SEVERAL primary schools are facing a significant reduction in their funding as part of a review.

A change in the funding formula for schools in Flintshire will result in some primary schools losing more than £30,000 per year.

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

Council bosses have argued the current formula is out of date, and said the new system would be fairer.

Many schools will see a funding boost as part of the planned changes, with Brynford CP school set to scoop an 18.1 per cent increase in its current funding.

Further consideration will be given to the primary formula this month and final amounts might therefore be subject to change.

Members of the council’s lifelong learning overview and scrutiny committee largely welcomed the planned changes.

The changes could see one secondary school lose around £115,000 in funding, with others seeing their funding increase.Flintshire Council has warned jobs could be lost due to the changes.

Speaking at the meeting, council officer Lucy Morris said: “I would say there is general support for the changes. I think they understand the rationale behind the formula and they are supportive of it.”

She said any changes to the funding would be “dampened” by 75 per cent in the first year to give schools time to adjust to the changes.

Figures handed to committee members showed Bryn Coch CP school in Mold would be the biggest loser in cash terms, with a loss of £34,607 a year if the formula was retained.

Penyffordd School would be one of the biggest winners if the current formula was kept – with a £57,176 a year increase in its budget.

Ewloe councillor David Mackie said: “From what I have seen I think we have done the job that was needed.”

His views were reflected by almost all speakers at the committee, with many stating the principle of the formula was right.

Cllr Chris Bithell, cabinet member for education, said: “It is based on sound principles.

“It is well thought out and well principled.

“Inevitably there are going to be winners and losers.”

Consultations with headteachers, school governors and stakeholders took place over recent months.

A report discussed by the committee said most respondents were in support of the changes – but some committee members criticised a low level of response.

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

Despite some changes, such as Welsh Government initiatives, there has been no fundamental review by Flintshire Council of its overall school funding methodology.

The revision would have no impact on the council budget.

If ratified at a Flintshire Council cabinet meeting this month, secondary schools will also see a big change in their budgets.

At Mold Alun School, £115,677 of funding would be lost, with Hawarden High (£20,941), Holywell High (£16,923) and Connah’s Quay High (£4,298) all seeing funding reductions.

The biggest beneficiary would be Argoed School, which would see a £49,000 funding increase.

St Richard Gwyn, Flint, and St David’s High School, Saltney, would both receive more than £20,000 extra.

The primary schools that will lose out most in cash terms are:

Bryn Coch CP school, Mold -£34,607 (-2.2 per cent)
Southdown CP school, Buckley  
-£30,898 (-3 per cent)
Gwynedd CP school, Flint -£28,158 (-2.6 per cent)
Shotton Infants CP school -£24,617 (-5.8 per cent)
Sealand CP school -£21,740 (-3.9 per cent)

The primary schools that will be the biggest winners are:

Penyffordd school £57,176 (8.7 per cent)
Ysgol Parc Y Llan, Treuddyn £41,216 (14.8 per cent)
Brynford CP school £36,596 (18.1 per cent)
Queensferry CP school £32,930 (7.9 per cent)
Lixwm CP school £30,844 (15 per cent)

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