Leader magazineASCL - Association of School and College Leaders

Wales funding fog clears

For nearly two years, ASCL Cymru has been campaigning for clarity in the funding system in Wales. This was vindicated in June with the publication of a report from the Welsh Assembly Government Committee on School Funding.

ASCL is delighted that the committee corroborated the association's view that 'funding fog' was a valid description for a "complicated and unresponsive system where accountability was scattered and unclear" and that "part of the reason for this is because of an historically based funding formula that pays insufficient attention to the needs of schools now and for the future".

The funding report also recognised that schools "are hamstrung by a funding system that is based on the past not the future".

ASCL Cymru first put forward this view in its February 2005 report The Funding of Secondary Schools in Wales. Brian Rowlands, ASCL Cymru Secretary said: "This means that funding is no longer a political football. We look forward to working with the Welsh Assembly Government to modernise a system which is clearly in need of reform.

"ASCL is particularly pleased that the committee has recommended 'that the Assembly Government establish minimum, basic funding requirements for schools and that this information should be used to determine school funding at national and local levels.' This has long been the basis of ASCL funding policy."

Brian Lightman, Head of St Cyres School Penarth and national Vice President-Elect, said: "This report sets out the way for school leaders to deliver the Welsh Assembly Government's ambitious agenda for reform set out the Learning Country 2 and the 14-19 Action Plan, which we so strongly support but which we are finding difficult to deliver because of the uncertainty and lack of clarity in school funding arrangements."

To view a copy of the Welsh Assembly report, go to www.wales.gov.uk/keypubassemschoolfund/content/reports-e.htm

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