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News - 2 February 2015

Prime Minister promises to England’s schools budget

David Cameron has promised a future Conservative government would protect England's schools budget in cash terms, but per pupil funding would not keep pace with inflation.

The prime minister said the government would provide a further £7bn for extra places for rising numbers of pupils, and that hundreds more secondary schools would become academies.

However, many say that this pledge is not enough.

Labour's Tristram Hunt said Tory claims to protect funding were "unravelling" and represented a "real-terms cut".
"The truth is that you can't protect schools when you have plans to take spending as a share of GDP back to levels not seen since the 1930s."

David Laws, the Liberal Democrat schools minister, said the financial commitment from David Cameron was "unbelievably weak".

The director of the Institute for Fiscal Studies, Paul Johnson, said the proposal represented a
"watering down" of a ring-fenced budget.

The Association of Colleges said restricting the budget protection to schools was "desperately disappointing" for further education and sixth form colleges.

Russell Hobby, leader of the National Association of Head Teachers, attacked the proposals as "ill informed" and a decision to "declare war on schools".

Liz Kennett, Audit and Accounts Manager of ABDS, and a Schools and Charities specialist comments:
“The prime Minister also commented on school standards, and would raise achievement in 3,500 schools rated "requires improvement" by Ofsted. They would also have new leadership imposed with struggling academies would be switched to other academy sponsors.”

Almost a quarter of secondary schools, about 720 schools, are rated as requiring improvement. About 16% of primary, more than 2,600 schools would be affected by the proposals.

Ofsted's annual report shows more than a third of sponsored academies, both primary and secondary, are currently rated as requiring improvement, a higher proportion than local authority schools.

Free schools which are in this rating could also be handed over to another academy group.

If you need any help and advice with Free Schools, Academy Schools or Charities, contact Lavinia Newman, Peter Ham or Liz Kennett now to discuss how ABDS can help bring their experience to these matters.

ABDS Chartered Certified Accountants of Southampton.
Tel: 023 8083 6900  E-mail: abds@netaccountants.net

Brilliant with numbers   
Great with people  
Clear and precise with advice
Timely and cost effective 
In touch with issues that face our clients and
mindful of their long term strategic goals

Helping Your Business is Our Business

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