'Funding formula could force small schools to close'
SCHOOLS could be forced to close and dozens face going into the red because of national funding changes, East Riding head teachers have warned.
East Riding Council – one of the country's worst-funded education authorities – is now asking the Government for a lump sum payment to help the area's cash-starved schools.
Councillors say the Government's new "one size fits all" funding formula, which comes into force in April, fails to take into account the diverse nature of schools.
In the East Riding, as many as 64 primaries and 11 secondaries would be worse off under the new rules, forcing dozens into the red.
Business Cards From Only £10.95 Delivered www.myprint-247.co.ukView details
Our heavyweight cards have FREE UV silk coating, FREE next day delivery & VAT included. Choose from 1000's of pre-designed templates or upload your own artwork. Orders dispatched within 24hrs.
Terms: Visit our site for more products: Business Cards, Compliment Slips, Letterheads, Leaflets, Postcards, Posters & much more. All items are free next day delivery. www.myprint-247.co.uk
Contact: 01858 468192
Valid until: Friday, May 31 2013
Short-changed primaries could lose as much as £118,000 per year, while secondaries could be down by up to £248,000.
John Killeen, branch spokesman for the National Association of Head Teachers, warned some smaller schools could eventually be forced to close.
Mr Killeen, head teacher at South Cave Primary School, said: "It is, in effect, death by a thousand cuts.
"A minimum funding guarantee could disappear in two years' time and we could also have a cut in education funding across the country.
"It would be the final death knell for quite a number of schools.
"We could be looking at the wholesale closure of a large number of small schools.
"It will be in rural communities where the school is now the last bastion keeping villages alive after the pub and post office has shut."
Council figures show 40 per cent of primary children and 49 per cent of secondary pupils could be in worse-off schools.
Schools portfolio holder Councillor Julie Abraham is warning that some schools could "fall over the cliff edge" when a minimum funding guarantee expires in 2015.
She said: "We are extremely concerned.
"We are looking to see what can be done for some of these schools if that cliff edge does come in 2015."
Councillor Kerri Harold said the council and MPs must "shout from the rooftops" for extra funds to protect schools.
Mrs Harold, who chairs the children and young people overview and scrutiny committee, said: "Some of the secondaries could lose massive amounts, it will be dire for them.
"More schools will go into the red.
"We must start to shout about this from the rooftops because it's not acceptable."
The council will ask the Education Secretary for lump sum payments in each of the next two years to lessen the impact of the funding formula change.
They will also ask MPs to back their plea for extra funds until a new national funding formula is established.