61 councils top-slicing school budgets

Tes is reporting that more than one in three councils are being forced to divert money from frontline school budgets to replace an axed government fund, it has emerged.

Figures show the impact this year of cutting the Education Services Grant (ESG), which previously paid for a range of school support services.

The figures were revealed following a written parliamentary question by Liberal Democrat education spokesperson Layla Moran.

Mr Gibb’s answer listed 61 local authorities funding services through “maintained school budget shares” in 2018-19.

Ms Moran told Tes the figures showed how local authorities were having to ask schools to give up some of their budget to be able to provide them with “vital support functions such as human resources, financial monitoring and asbestos management”.

Taking money from school budgets to pay for services has to be approved by local area schools forums, which make decisions on funding allocations in their authority areas.

Ms Moran said, “The money added to the core schools budget after the election is being paid for by cuts elsewhere, such as money for new PE facilities, school buildings and other central programmes. Meanwhile, schools wait to learn whether teachers will be given a pay rise next year and whether they or the government will be paying for it.”

Read more 61 councils top-slicing school budgets

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