Next term LA schools start to get extra funding from three sources.  But how will they spend it?

The problem with judging school funding is that not everything is being spoken about.  Because, while the government is upping the amount of money that each school gets, it is not always being completely open about other factors.

In this short piece I’ll try to set out the situation as I see it – and the implications for school spending this term and in the summer term.

First, as we know, the Prime Minister made a pledge about raising the amount of money each school in England gets per pupil. That pledge is being fulfilled starting with the summer term this year.

What the government is more reticent about is that the shortfall in the number of teachers continues: this is the second factor.  It is true that the number of teachers is at a record level, but many more teachers are needed because of the huge rise in the school population.

And that huge rise in the pupil and student population to record levels is the third factor: school funding is paid for per child, and there are more children in school than ever.

So we have the situation in which most school expenditure goes towards salaries, and if there are no teachers applying for a vacancy, and there is also a shortage of supply teachers, then the money set aside for salaries just sits in the bank account, ready to be spent on something else.

The pressure on LA schools is exacerbated in some areas by the fact that some (one might say “many” but it is difficult to get exact figures) academies are refusing to increase their pupil or student numbers – and indeed as the law stands, they are free to keep their numbers exactly as they are at present.

Schools are solving their problems in many ways.  I have mentioned in the past the introduction of the Daily Mile – the policy of all pupils or students having to walk or jog a mile each day at a different time.  Originally intended simply to reduce obesity, as scientific studies have shown it also enhances subsequent learning because exercise stimulates the brain as well as developing physical fitness.

What some schools have recognised is that the Daily Mile can take 90 pupils or students out of the classroom, with just two teachers (instead of the three that would be needed if classes were being taught).

The Daily Mile stimulates brain activity and reduces obesity, so no inspector objects.  Besides, the number of inspections is still way below the level it was at in the early days of Ofsted,

Advertising which shows the recipient of the email or reader of the web page a link between these new ways of thinking in schools and the product or service on offer can make the offer seem more relevant and up-to-date.

As ever, we’re always happy to talk about such matters, whether you are a customer of ours or not, and then if you do sign up to one of our services we will of course give you further help in developing the advertising.

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