State of Education Report 2017 state-of-education-booklet-Final-WEB - Page 14

Governor perspective Only one-fifth (20%) of governors think the proposed national funding formula will make it easier for their school to forecast and plan their budget effectively, echoing the views of school leaders. While governors anticipate funding pressures ahead, they are confident in their ability to oversee finances in their schools. More than nine in 10 (93%) governors are confident that their board has the knowledge and skills to hold the leadership team to account for financial management. A similar proportion (91%) thinks that their board has full oversight of their school’s financial situation, and more than half (56%) are confident that they will be able to manage any funding pressures over the coming two years. Successfully managing budget pressures, however, does not come without related challenges, and governors acknowledge that making savings could detrimentally affect their school’s performance. Seven in 10 (72%) governors are not confident, for instance, that standards can be maintained if cuts are made to their school’s staffing budget. This is worrying, given that two-thirds of school leaders expect to have to make savings from their staff structure in the next two years. Cuts to staff development are similarly unfavourable, with only one-third (34%) of governors confident that school performance would not suffer in this instance. “We have the expertise and experience to generate additional income, but in the deprived area we operate from in a 1950s building we have very few opportunities.” School leader What funding change would schools most like to see? When we asked school leaders to choose, from a list of possible scenarios, which single funding change would have the most positive impact on their school over the next three years, two options stood out. Higher base funding rates and higher levels of special educational needs (SEN) funding would be favoured by 29% and 22% of school leaders respectively. Secondary school leaders, in particular, champion the prospect of higher base funding – 40% believe this would have the most impact, compared to 27% of primary school leaders. While secondary leaders tend to prioritise higher levels of capital funding (18%) over funding for SEN (10%), in primary schools the reverse is true (15% and 24% respectively). STATE OF EDUCATION 2017 | WWW.STATEOFED.THEKEYSUPPORT.COM PAGE 14