Westminster Education Forum

Key issues for the schools national funding formula and improving financial efficiency

Tuesday, 7th March 2017

Sixty One Whitehall, London SW1A 2ET


Following the publication of the Government’s proposed national funding formula due to be introduced for 2018 to 2019, this conference will focus on the reforms to school funding and wider issues for improving financial efficiency in schools.

Delegates will discuss next steps for moving towards the finalised national funding formula including implementation issues, whether necessary factors have been taken into account, and the impact of the current variation of funding received by schools. They will also consider possible support needs for schools, and their collaboration with local authorities during the two year transition period to the introduction of the ‘hard’ formula.

Sessions assess reforms to High Needs Funding and the role of local authorities in their introduction in light of concerns about a lack of resources for wide-ranging implementation. The likely impact of the proposed changes to provide per-pupil funding based on a pupil count on funding for special education units in mainstream schools will also be discussed alongside the likely implications for post-16 SEND provision.

The agenda looks at ways forward for schools facing budgetary constraints, rising maintenance costs, and changes to funding, following the publication of the National Audit Office’s December 2016 report Financial Sustainability of Schools, which found that mainstream schools have to make £3 billion in efficiency savings by 2019/20. It will also include latest thinking on the effective deployment of School Business Managers to reduce costs, the potential of school clusters and collaborative partnerships between schools to promote efficiency, the effective use of available benchmarking and school improvement methods, as well as how academy freedoms can be used to improve efficiency in academy settings.

Guests of Honour

Tom Goldman

Deputy Director, Funding Policy Unit, Department for Education

Russell Ewens

Funding Policy Unit, Department for Education

Guests of Honour

Russell Ewens

Funding Policy Unit, Department for Education

Tom Goldman

Deputy Director, Funding Policy Unit, Department for Education

Keynote Speaker

Luke Sibieta

Programme Director, Education, Employment and Evaluation Sector, Institute for Fiscal Studies


Danny Kinahan MP

Chair, All-Party Parliamentary Group for Education

James Heappey MP


Kim Cannon

Service Manager, Education Finance Team, EES for Schools

Emma Knights

Chief Executive, National Governors' Association

Natalie Dalvarez

Head of Business Services and Governance, Herts for Learning

Julia Harnden

Funding Specialist, ASCL

Andrew Minall

Representative, f40 and Finance Business Partner (Children’s Services) and Head of Education Financial Services, Hampshire County Council

Patrick Foley

Headteacher, Southborough Primary School, Bromley

Mark Parrett

Audit Manager, Value for Money Audit, National Audit Office

Valentine Mulholland

Head of Policy, NAHT

John Fowler

Policy Manager, Local Government Information Unit