More than 80 schools in borough face budget cuts


Jim Green

MORE than 80 schools across the borough are facing budget cuts.

Government reforms designed to simplify the way schools are funded take effect in April and there are fears rural and smaller schools will be worst hit.

Currently 26 factors determine how much money each school in the borough gets but from next year only six factors are being used.

Under the new formula, 61 schools are in line for budget increases but 85 schools will see their budgets slashed.

Cheshire West and Chester Council (CWaC) has promised to work with schools to help them cope with the changes.

Cllr Mark Stocks, executive member for children and families, said: “We are committed to working with all our schools to help them manage the implications of changes to their budgets.

“The time period set by government to produce this formula is a significant concern and I have expressed this in writing to the secretary of state and await a response.

“It gave us very little time to consult and we have had to move this matter very quickly through the executive reporting process to comply with the timescale prescribed.”

CWaC has consulted schools on the changes and the council’s executive has approved the proposed new funding formula to meet government requirements. But Cllr Nicole Meardon told the meeting there would be tough times ahead for some schools.

She said: “The consultation timescale was nowhere near long enough and began during the summer holidays which did not help schools to make their responses.

“Some schools stand to lose significant sums of money. It will impact particularly on small and rural schools, schools with pupils from traveller families and those with a greater number of pupils with special educational needs.

“We need to look at the issues raised by the schools and how we are going to assist them.”

See full story in the Chester Leader

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