MPs to investigate school and sixth-form funding

The parliamentary education committee has launched an inquiry into school and sixth-form funding, to consider whether a 10-year plan is needed to preserve “high quality” education.

The inquiry, which launched today, is inviting written submissions on the resources needed to properly support schools.

MPs also want to hear about the effectiveness of targeted funding for specific pupil groups, such as the pupil premium, and will also investigate how the new national funding formula should be best implemented.

The committee also wants to hear evidence to inform school funding in the government’s next spending review period, which begins in 2020. They are asking schools for evidence on the money needed for both pre and post-16 education.

Robert Halfon, a former education minister and chair of the  committee, warned that rising cost pressures have led to “serious challenges in the provision of high-quality education”.

“We need to move to a situation where education funding is not driven primarily by Treasury processes but rather by a long-term strategic assessment of our national priorities for education and skills”, he said.

“This inquiry will examine whether it is time to have a 10-year plan for our schools and colleges, and what resources are required to put this plan into action.”

A spokesperson for the Department for Education said: “We welcome the opportunity to set out to the education select committee how our implementation of the national funding formula will support greater certainty and long-term planning in the school sector.”

The deadline for written submissions is May 30.

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