Whitehall 'to control purse strings' in schools funding shake-up
Whitehall could take full control of state school funding in England under proposals drawn up by ministers to remove the role of town halls, it was reported today.
A switch to a "national funding formula" is Education Secretary Michael Gove's preferred option for reform, according to a draft copy of a forthcoming White Paper seen by the Financial Times.
Centrally resetting the budgets for primary and secondary schools would end the present "opaque and illogical system" of allowing local authorities flexibility to decide budgets, the paper was reported to say.
Headteachers would also be given extra freedom over spending their allocation..
A consultation on the changes is expected to start early next year, before the introduction of a new system from 2012, and ministers will be braced for a backlash from councils - especially those who would lose funding.
The question of whether there should be "any local discretion" is among questions it will pose.
A spokeswoman for the Department of Education said: "We believe the way education is funded at the moment leads to huge variations in the money similar schools receive so we want to introduce a fairer and more transparent system.
"Details will be set out in our White Paper later this year."
The Conservative councillor in charge of education policy at Birmingham City Council told the newspaper he was "absolutely flabbergasted" by the idea.
Les Lawrence said: "What happened to decentralisation? What happened to the coalition mantra of getting rid of quangos? This is centralised control of school funding.
"How the hell can you fund a school in rural Devon on the same basis as inner-city Birmingham?"
Scottish independence: Despite defeat history may still point to Alex Salmond as the victor
Scottish independence referendum: Frankie Boyle reacts to nation's 'No' vote - 'To be fair, I've always hated Scotland'
Iranian blogger found guilty of insulting Prophet Mohammad on Facebook sentenced to death
Scottish referendum: Police struggle to control Unionist rally in Glasgow's George Square
Scottish referendum results: Cross-party consensus collapses amid Tory-Labour spat on the 'English question'
Daniele Watts: Django Unchained actress detained by Los Angeles police after being mistaken for a prostitute
Scottish independence referendum: A nation divided against itself
Scottish independence: David Cameron is becoming the 'George Bush of Britain'
Russia freezes Ukraine into submission: Kiev admits country doesn't have enough fuel for winter
Scottish independence: The Queen breaks silence on referendum debate – as think tank warns of £14bn black hole if Scotland votes Yes
Archbishop of Canterbury admits doubts about existence of God
- 1 Mario Balotelli: Staff at arson-hit Manchester Dogs' Home convinced Liverpool striker is behind five-figure donation
- 2 Friends 20th anniversary: Alison Jackson photographs reunited cast
- 3 A bottle of wine a day is not bad for you and abstaining is worse than drinking, scientist claims
- 4 The response to my Pizza Express review has been overwhelming, and taught me a lot about journalism
- 5 Free U2 album: How the most generous giveaway in music history turned into a PR disaster
£75 - £90 per day + negotiable: Randstad Education Group: Are you a cover supe...
£1 per day: Randstad Education Leeds: Job Purpose To work closely with the he...
Competitive Salary: Randstad Education Group: We urgently require an experienc...
£21000 - £35000 per annum: Randstad Education Cambridge: Primary teachers requ...