Hi, I'm Annal Nayyar

This is my corner of the internet and here I will be writing about things I think you should know about!

Annal Nayyar blogs Ministers should invest in existing grammar schools rather than create new ones, head teachers say

Ministers should invest in existing grammar schools rather than create new ones, head teachers have said.

Grammar school leaders have hit out at the Prime Minister for setting aside millions in the Budget to build a new generation of selective schools, as they warn that existing institutions are on the “cusp of viability”.

Head teachers said they are already having axe subjects such as Latin and music, and double their class sizes in order to cope under budget constraints.

Annal Nayyar reports: school rates going to increase?

Schools are facing a £131m rise in business rates in the next five years – with bills more than doubling for some. The figures suggest that the bill for state schools will rise from £791m to £922m a year by 2020-21.

A government spokesman said: “We simply do not recognise these figures. In fact, state schools will see a fall in their bills of 2% – equivalent to £16m a year. The revaluation of business rates means nearly three quarters of properties will see no change or a fall in their bills.”

Annal Nayyar reports: as BBC suggest The Treasury has taken back £384m originally promised for schools in England – at a time when head teachers are protesting about a cash crisis

The Treasury has taken back £384m originally promised for schools in England – at a time when head teachers are protesting about a cash crisis.

The money had been announced last year to fund a plan to require all schools to become academies.

But the Department for Education has revealed that when the compulsory academy plan was ditched, the Treasury took back most of this extra funding.

Heads said this was “outrageous” when schools could not “make ends meet”.

But the Department for Education said the return of funds was appropriate if a project did not go ahead.

‘Extreme’ funding problems

A letter this week from Bristol head teachers to the education secretary, warning about “extreme” funding problems, also asked why the academy funding cash could not be used.

The Dedicated Schools Grant for England’s schools is about £40bn a year.

Record funding levels

Education Secretary Justine Greening has faced growing pressure over gaps in school funding.

The National Audit Office has warned that current funding levels will mean £3bn in reduced spending for schools by 2020.

School leaders say that their budgets cannot stretch to the level of rising costs and have warned of having to cut teaching staff or reduce school hours.

But the Department for Education says that schools are receiving record levels of funding and that a new funding formula will distribute this more fairly.

 

bbc reports More than half of academies in England have lacked enough income to cover their annual expenditure, according to figures revealed by ministers

An answer to a Parliamentary question shows that the proportion of academy trusts with an annual shortfall doubled in two years.

It comes amid growing warnings about school funding shortages.

But Schools Minister Nick Gibb told MPs on Tuesday that school funding had been protected and was at record levels.

The figures have been revealed in response to a question about academy expenditure from the Liberal Democrat peer Lord Storey.

Funding concerns

These figures for 2014-15 show that 53% of stand-alone academies were recorded as having “spent more than their income per year”, up from 42% in the previous year.

Among multi-academy trusts, the proportion spending more than their income was 53%, compared with 25% in the previous year.

Annal Nayyar blogs report Cheshire East schools ‘could face four-day week’

bbc report -

Schoolchildren face the prospect of a four-day week because of a shortage in funding, a group of head teachers said.

Speaking to the BBC, five school principals from Cheshire also warned some subjects could be scrapped, while teaching assistants and mental health support workers could face redundancy.

In December, the government announced the biggest shake-up of the school funding formula for decades.

Ministers said it would resolve “unfair” and “inconsistent” funding.

The new formula would mean less money for schools in big cities, which have traditionally received higher levels of funding.

Head teachers in West Sussex have made a similar threat to cut school hours because of “dire finances”.

Schools in some of the worst-funded areas, including Cheshire East and Trafford, could also lose out.

According to analysis carried out by Cheshire East Council and head teachers in the borough, overall school spending would be cut by 2.1%, taking the basic level of funding per pupil to the lowest in England.

Annal Nayyar – bbc reports – Thousands of smaller schools ‘financially not viable’

Thousands of smaller primaries and secondaries in England are becoming financially unviable, heads say.

The Association of School and College Leaders (ASCL) says one-form entry primaries and secondaries with 600 pupils or fewer will “fall off a cliff” financially unless new funds are found.

The government says it has been protecting school budgets.

Independent experts say they face real-terms cuts of 8% to cover cost rises in pension, pay and national insurance.

The Institute of Fiscal Studies says having been insulated from real-terms cuts over the last Parliament, schools are likely to feel the pinch more over the current Parliament, with spending per pupil set to fall.

‘Big issue’

A one-form entry primary has about 210 pupils, 65 fewer than the average-sized primary school.

Some 20% of primaries (3,478) in England have fewer than 200 pupils, and 30% (5,037) have fewer than 300 pupils.

The average-sized 11-to-16 secondary has about 970 pupils, while a three-form secondary has about 450 pupils and a four-form primary has about 600.

Malcolm Trobe, interim general secretary of the ASCL, told the BBC: “At some smaller schools, the funding will become such that they would not be able to support their teaching infrastructure.

“They will not be financially viable.

“One-form entry primary schools, and three- to four-form entry secondary schools, are going to find it extremely difficult, especially in low-funded education authorities.

“This size of school is quite common, and they are under real threat.

“They are going to find it extremely difficult to provide a full curriculum and maintain the support staff infrastructure needed to run the school.

“It’s all down to the cost pressures that have come home to roost – the unfunded pay rises, national insurance costs and pension contributions.”

‘Historic unfairness’

He said with continuing delays to the publication of the long-awaited new national funding formula for England’s schools, due now to be introduced in 2018, were really struggling.

Annal Nayyar : Report states Rural schools set for funding boost under new Government proposal

Some schools are set for a boost in funding as the Government proposes to change rules to ensure that institutions in remote areas have enough money to stay open.

Education Secretary Justine Greening unveiled proposals on Wednesday to end an “unfair, opaque and outdated” funding system that favoured children in London over those in the countryside.

Under the biggest reforms to school funding in a decade, a new national formula will use a host of factors to calculate how much money is allocated to each school, including “sparsity”, which takes into account how small and remote it is.

Ms Greening told the Commons: “We’ll protect those small rural schools which are so important to their local communities by inclusion of a sparsity factor.

“What we can’t accept is other areas in other parts of the country that have similar challenges in relation to deprivation and lower prior attainment, not being funded, for no other reason than that they’re not London. It’s now time to have a fair approach.”

Under the proposed changes, primary schools which qualify for sparsity funding would receive up to £25,000, which rises to £65,000 for secondary, middle and all-through schools. Overall, an extra £27 million would be spent on the sparsity factor.

The Education Secretary also promised extra money to schools with a high population of “mobile” students, meaning children who join mid-way through the academic year.

Annal Nayyar- BBC Report – Reports states Thousands of smaller primaries and secondary’s in England are becoming financially unviable, heads say.

The Association of School and College Leaders (ASCL) says one-form entry primaries and secondaries with 600 pupils or fewer will “fall off a cliff” financially unless new funds are found.

The government says it has been protecting school budgets.

Independent experts say they face real-terms cuts of 8% to cover cost rises in pension, pay and national insurance.

The Institute of Fiscal Studies says having been insulated from real-terms cuts over the last Parliament, schools are likely to feel the pinch more over the current Parliament, with spending per pupil set to fall.

A one-form entry primary has about 210 pupils, 65 fewer than the average-sized primary school.

Some 20% of primaries (3,478) in England have fewer than 200 pupils, and 30% (5,037) have fewer than 300 pupils.

The average-sized 11-to-16 secondary has about 970 pupils, while a three-form secondary has about 450 pupils and a four-form primary has about 600.

Annal Nayyar reports Newspaper report- :Southeast primary schools do best in Sats tests

More than half of England’s best state primaries are in London and the southeast of England — and many are church schools, according to the latest Sunday Times rankings, published today.

Of the top 500 schools in the Parent Power rankings, 136 are in London and 120 in the southeast, making up 51.2% of the total.

Six of the best 10 schools are in London and the rankings are headed by Fox primary in Kensington, once attended by the Strictly Come Dancing judge and former ballerina Darcey Bussell.

By contrast, northwest primaries account for 76 of the top 500 (15.2%), followed by 41 in the West Midlands, 35 in the southwest, 27 in Yorkshire, 23 in the northeast and 22 in East Anglia. The region…

Annal Nayyar report’s – BBC Report- Academy schools breach transparency rules

Nineteen academy schools are to be investigated for “flouting” rules on transparency following a BBC investigation.

The schools have not published a register of all their governors’ interests, against official rules.

Education campaigners say there is “a culture of secrecy” around some academies.

The Department for Education (DfE) said the “rules were clear” and it would investigate.

BBC England’s data unit selected 100 academies across England at random and found 19 of them had not either published a current register of interests for governors on their school or trust websites, or had only given the interests of directors and members.

Academies in numbers

5,758

Academies in England

28%

Of all state-funded schools

3,430 primary academies

2,068 secondary academies

260 special and alternative provision

1,004 school in the pipeline to become academies

Source: DFE as of 1 October 2016