Funding farce: DfE ignores requests to honour £370m NFF pledge

School finance
Pleas to restore £370m in promised per-pupil funding, wiped out due to a Department for Education technical error, continue to be ignored despite the schools minister recognising the “difficulties and frustration” caused.
Image: Adobe Stock

In a Parliamentary statement on Monday (October 16), schools minister Nick Gibb announced a “formal review of the quality assurance process surrounding the calculation of the National Funding Formula (NFF), with external and independent scrutiny”.

It comes after the DfE’s notional allocations for the NFF for 2024/25, published in July, contained an error in the forecast of pupil numbers, meaning that the overall cost of the NFF was underestimated.

The DfE issued new NFF allocations earlier this month to correct the mistake but these have resulted in the amount of per-pupil funding being reduced compared to the July allocations.

In numbers, it means that instead of a 2.4% rise in minimum per-pupil funding levels promised by Mr Gibb in July, they are to rise by just 1.9%.

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