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Torfaen’s school funding formula to be tweaked and simplified

The Civic Centre in Pontypool
The Civic Centre in Pontypool Credit: Cwmbran Life

A FORMULA that shares out more than £68 million a year to schools in Torfaen is to be tweaked and simplified.

The borough council allocates funding to 31 primary and secondary schools using the formula which has budget lines dedicated to various costs from buildings and water use to staffing.

But it has been agreed to incorporate several lines related to teaching into the main teaching line which is already the single largest part of the scheme and accounts for nearly 50 per cent of the money allocated.

The formula also has separate notional – or face value amounts – for primary and secondary teachers. A sub group of schools, from the schools budget forum, found there was no rational for that and agreed one funding rate for an average teacher cost was appropriate.

Other changes include a factor for the condition of the buildings to be included in the building maintenance line for the first time and that five budget lines could be combined without impacting any individual school’s funding as there are currently separate lines for water usage and water standing charges.

The review group met three times during the summer and concluded the financial impact of changes between schools isn’t considered destabilising overall or to any individual school.

Had the changes, which heads and governing bodies have been consulted on, been used in this year’s funding allocation the range of changes to individual school budgets would have been between a reduction of £11,000 or gain of £24,000 with most schools either seeing a loss or gain of £10,000.

The changes have been agreed by the Labour controlled council’s cabinet member for education Richard Clark.

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Torfaen’s school funding formula to be tweaked and simplified