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Headteachers will have certainty over their future budgets

Justine Greening on the fair funding formula, research schools and an education system for all

Posted by Lucinda Reid | February 08, 2017 | People, policy, politics

After the success of Bett 2017, Education Technology spoke to Justine Greening about the future of technology within education and how teachers can keep up with the rapid pace of edtech. 

Alongside this interview, Academy Today spoke to Justine about academies. We were keen to find out what the Secretary State for Education had to say about the impact of the ‘fair funding formula’ and research schools on the academy sector.

Secondary academies have been spending more than their income since 2012/13 – how will the ‘fair funding formula’ help this issue?

School funding will be over £40 billion in 2016-17, its highest level ever, and as pupil numbers rise, so will the amount of money schools receive. Our proposals will help create a system that funds schools according to the needs of their pupils rather than where they live. The current system is unfair, inefficient and out of date, it is a postcode lottery. Our proposed fair funding formula will not only see more than half of England’s schools receive a cash boost in 2018-19 but will also give headteachers certainty over their future budgets, helping them make long term plans. But we recognise that schools are facing cost pressures, which is why we will continue to provide advice and support to help schools use their funding in cost effective ways, including improving the way they buy goods and services, including their IT service and equipment so‎ they get the best possible value for their pupils.

How would your recent proposal of ‘research schools’ improve the quality of education, when some schools are currently facing more budget cuts?

Research Schools will lead on the development of evidence-led practice in local schools, improving the education of young people in these schools. They’re going to be established for each of the 12 Opportunity Areas, which are social mobility ‘coldspots’ we’ve identified for extra support so that children get the best start in life. So not only are the Research Schools going to be important in raising the quality of education in local schools, they’re going to be doing it for pupils who need it the most.  

What do you think the education sector will look like in 5 years?

We want to build a country that works for everyone, not just the privileged few. Education is at the heart of that ambition, and is central to breaking down the barriers to social mobility that too many people face in our country today.  Every child deserves a place at a good school, which is why we want to create more good school places in more parts of the country. We also want to ensure there are no barriers to children and young people’s aspirations - with an education system that supports every child to fulfil their potential.

To read the full interview with Justine, visit Education Technology’s website.

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