New funding formula "will have a major impact on the student experience" in Wilmslow


According to the latest figures local schools are set to lose over £1.8 million from their annual budget by 2019 under the Government's new funding formula.

The government is proposing to introduce a National Funding Formula in 2018-19, which is designed to deliver a transparent funding system where the amount of funding children attract for their schools is based on need and is consistent across the country.

However, according to the National Union of Teachers unless the Government allocates more money, schools will lose £3 billion a year in real terms by 2020.

The new system will result in a cut in budget for every primary school in Wilmslow, Handforth, Styal, Alderley Edge, Nether Alderley, Chelford, Mobberley and Mottram St Andrew, as well as Wilmslow High School.

Figures published by the NUT show that our 14 local state schools (excluding Wilmslow Grange which they did not have figures for) would be over £1.8 million a year worse off if the government introduced the proposed National Funding Formula, whilst Wilmslow High School would be worst hit.

According to the NUT, the local High School would have its budget slashed by £669,000 a year, which would result in £443 being lost for every pupil and the equivalent of 18 teachers being lost based on the average teacher salary at Wilmslow High School.

In total across the 14 local schools the funding cuts would result in the loss of 45 teachers along with 1 teaching assistant at Lindow Community Primary School and the average amount that would be lost for every pupil would be £450.

Mark Unwin, Headteacher at Wilmslow Grange Community Primary School, said "We are concerned about the recent draft of the National Fairer Funding Formula and are working closely with Cheshire East Local Authority; headteachers and governors to lobby for an increase in the basic funding per pupil, so that we can continue to offer an exceptional education for the pupils at our school.

"We hope that the Government ensures that children in all schools in Cheshire East receive a comparable amount of funding, and level of support, as pupils in other local authorities nationwide."

Speaking about the proposals Dr James Pulle, Headteacher at Wilmslow High School, issued with the following statement:

The website put together by an alliance of education sector unions has certainly been grabbing public attention.

It does an excellent job of highlighting the magnitude of the challenges currently facing funding for schools in particular, and all public services in general.

The real terms funding cuts it describes have already had an impact on school budgets nationally as a result of unfunded

  • increases in employer pension and National Insurance contributions
  • nationally determined pay rises
  • requirements for schools to purchase services previously provided without charge by the Local Authority

Consequently in secondary schools across the country there have already been significant cuts to spending on

  • maintenance
  • ICT infrastructure
  • teaching and learning resources
  • extra-curricular programmes
  • specialist GCSE and A-Level courses

Although student numbers at Wilmslow High School have continued to rise over recent years, with there now being 2003 students on roll, the school has fewer teachers, learning support assistants and other support staff than it did five years ago.

Fortunately, because the school has been creative in both managing costs and increasing income, there has been limited impact so far on individuals. Consequently the school cuts website exaggerates when it suggests that the school would lose 18 teachers

However, if the National Funding Formula is introduced as currently proposed it will have a major impact on the student experience of schooling in Wilmslow, across Cheshire East and many other areas of the country.

The key change to the proposed National Funding Formula for schools that campaigners are arguing for is to restore the basic per pupil element of the national schools budget to current proportions.

Parents, carers and other members of the community have already contributed to this campaign powerfully through writing to the local MP, George Osborne. He has responded to each individually and written a general letter of support that we have been pleased to share.

His letter backs the school's message that as many parents as possible should respond to the Department for Education's consultation. After half-term the school will be submitting its own formal response and we will share this with parents and carers then so that it can help inform their own personal responses.



Here's what readers have had to say so far. Why not add your thoughts below.

Lynne Prescott
Wednesday 15th February 2017 at 4:49 pm
... all this at the same time the local plan is proposing to add 14,200 mainly family homes to the neighbourhood, with children that will need to go to the already over-subscribed secondary schools, because there is no provision currently for new or extended schools at secondary level in the same plan

What with this and the daily shocks from over the pond, it's looking as if common sense and joined-up thinking are positive deterents to a political career!
Simon Worthington
Thursday 16th February 2017 at 8:02 am
How fortunate the government is that, being a "wealthy" area a large number of families are paying twice for education via taxation and private school fees.
We have needed another high school, probably in the Handforth area, for many years along with further education facilities with the nearest being Trafford and Stockport (in Greater Manchester) and Macclesfield. This area is treated as a golden goose by central government and East Cheshire Council and surely it is time to unseat these incompetents.