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Research by the Confederation of School Trusts has found that the current complex system of school funding falls short of what is needed to support pupils. Funding is too unpredictable, is not calculated against the actual costs facing schools, and has failed to keep up with moves to a trust-led system. Following extensive consultation with academy trust leaders - who now run more than half of the country’s schools – CST is calling for significant reforms.

This paper calls for new system of school funding based on: 
  • A fully implemented National Funding Formula, for all schools including special and alternative provision settings, which integrates long-standing additional funding such as the Pupil Premium, so that schools are adequately resourced to deliver the education provision that society expects and that children deserve.  
  • A new approach to funding Special Education Needs and Disabilities and Alternative Provision, with a protected minimum level of funding provided through the NFF and additional funding provided for ambitious, tailored provision, rather than a statement of need.  
  • Holistic capital funding that is sufficient and replaces the current status quo of too many competing and piecemeal pockets that are inaccessible. An ambitious national plan for the maintenance and improvement of the school estate should be introduced and funded separately to the core delivery of education so that schools are safe and sustainable places to learn.  
  • The introduction of a Policy Premium Mechanism, to provide a standing route for time-limited additional funding beyond the three main funding stream, with any long term changes embedded in the NFF. 

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