After originally appearing in 2019, the information on this page is being retained for the reference of new and prospective parents.
The National Funding Formula (NFF) was introduced by central government from April 2018. It replaces different local authority funding formulae with one single formula. When fully in place, the aim is that this will ensure similar schools in different parts of the country receive a similar amount of funding. Inevitably, there are winners and losers from this redistribution of funding – in particular, urban areas tend to lose funding.
Analysis from the Education Policy Institute shows that schools in our constituency (Birmingham Hall Green) will experience higher losses as a result of the NFF than all but 55 of the 500+ constituencies in England.1
Major factors within the NFF that mean that KHPS does badly relative to other local schools include allocation of funds according to:
- levels of deprivation - KHPS is in a relatively affluent area of Birmingham, and the proportion of pupils eligible for free school meals is relatively low.
- low prior attainment – KHPS pupils on average do not have particularly low prior attainment.
- lump sum – because we are a relatively big school, there is less of this money per pupil because the lump sum does not vary with school size.
Beyond the NFF (which only determines the biggest stream of funding that comes into schools), another funding stream is ‘pupil premium’ funding. This is allocated based on the number of pupils in a school that have ever been eligible for free school meals. KHPS has a lower proportion of pupil premium pupils than all but one of the eleven most local primaries, which contributes to the lower funding per pupil.
1 See excel spreadsheet that can be downloaded at https://epi.org.uk/publications-and-research/implications-national-funding-formula-schools/.
All schools maintained by BCC are required to set balanced budgets in-year and either:
- balanced three year forecasts or
- plans to address budget deficit situations (either current or predicted)
We don’t know what BCC would do if we did not address our projected deficit to their satisfaction. BCC has not spelt this out to us. However, they are able to take control of school budgets where there is ‘cause for concern’ and this could mean decisions about cuts are made without a full understanding of the context of the school. Financial management of schools is part of OFSTED inspection, influencing judgments around quality of provision, efficiency of use of resources and leadership and management. Poor inspection results run the risk of forced academisation with limited control over choosing the sponsor or the chain.
Roger Godsiff has (at the school’s request) written to Nick Gibb, the Secretary of State for School Standards, to formally request that he send a School Efficiency Advisor to KHPS. We are waiting to hear from Mr Godsiff when he has had a reply from Mr Gibb.
KHPS is proud of its ethos of inclusivity and strives to provide education within a mainstream setting for children with complex needs. Providing this level of inclusivity comes at a significant cost, including often one-to-one Integration Assistant support. We have been assured by SENAR that our provision is efficient, yet they do not provide enough money to cover what we spend. The school has been negotiating with SENAR to reduce the under-funding of these places over many years, with some success. Nonetheless, these places are still significantly under-funded. Birmingham (in common with councils across the country) is struggling to meet the needs of children with complex SEND, because of under-funding from central government2. If KHPS does not provide these places, there are not enough alternative school places in Birmingham for children with complex needs. This is therefore a terrible choice for us to have to consider. However, because of the financial pressures the school is under, we are now at a point where we cannot continue to provide these places unless they are adequately funded.
2 ‘SEND funding’, Local Government Association; https://www.local.gov.uk/about/campaigns/bright-futures/bright-futures-childrens-services/bright-futures-send-funding.
We cannot promise that nothing will be lost as a result of reducing the hours children are taught. However, the school is committed to providing a broad and balanced curriculum. The school’s mission statement3 describes the kind of educational experience we aim to provide, and we will do all that we can to achieve this despite the increasing challenges. The upcoming ‘curriculum review’ will give us the opportunity to make links within the curriculum to enable us to cover as many areas as possible in a more efficient way.
Please look at the new PTFA website (http://www.helpkhps.co.uk/) for guidance on what action you can take to support the school and to campaign for adequate funding for schools in general, and for complex SEND in particular.
Lots of parents have told us that they would be willing to give money to the school. The PTFA has a ‘school fund’ which is used to help the school to pay for things that would otherwise not be funded. If you are able to set up a regular donation, this would be greatly appreciated. Please follow the steps below.
STEP 1 – SET UP A STANDING ORDER:
Kings Heath Primary School PTFA
Sort Code – 09-01-29
Account Number – 00974567
Please ensure that you add a reference number, so that we can make sure that we claim gift aid on any eligible donations. First 5 LETTERS OF YOUR SURNAME POST CODE – e.g. JONESB13ABC
However, donations of money cannot be used to support strategic development or pay staffing costs as they are likely to be short-term and their voluntary nature makes them an unreliable source of income.
STEP 2 – COMPLETE A GIFT AID FORM
If you are a UK tax payer, complete the gift aid form available here, and return it to the school office. This will enable the PTFA to claim an extra 25% on top of your donation.
The gift aid form will enable us to claim gift aid on all future donations that you make to the PTFA
We cannot promise that nothing will be lost as a result of reducing the hours children are taught. However, the school is committed to providing a broad and balanced curriculum. The school’s mission statement describes the kind of educational experience we aim to provide, and we will do all that we can to achieve this despite the increasing challenges. The upcoming ‘curriculum review’ will give us the opportunity to make links within the curriculum to enable us to cover as many areas as possible in a more efficient way. We will let parents know what is lost from and / or about changes to the curriculum.
We will continue to explore opportunities for generating more income. For example, the PTFA is researching opportunities to bring in more money through grants. However, hiring out school facilities comes with various costs, such as the need to pay staff to close the building and to clean up, which have to be balanced against the income that this generates.
The school is currently closed to pupils when it is used as a polling station in elections. We agree that this is not something that should continue in the context of the school closing early every Friday. We have asked the local authority to find an alternative polling station.
The parental consultation is now closed. The staff consultation will soon be complete and at this stage we will communicate with parents further about plans for September 2019.
We would also like to note that Mr Roger Godsiff MP has now been in touch. He contacted the DfE on our behalf and we have been allocated an ‘efficiency advisor’. We are still waiting for the advisor to make contact; Mr Godsiff has indicated that he will attend any meeting between the school and the advisor.