Bedford Borough Council have confirmed that schools in the Borough have lost out on £1.4 million of funding due to a government mistake when calculating the National Funding Formula. The error has resulted in a 1.9% rise in funding per pupil, rather than the 2.7% rise that was originally promised in July. The briefing was published after questions at a Council meeting from the Liberal Democrats.
Liberal Democrat Councillor Leigh Coombs, who asked the question at Full Council, said “When I asked the question of the Conservative administration, they didn’t know the answer, and now it appears our schools are facing a £1.4m cut. This is a deeply damaging error from the Conservative Government. Some schools may have started to set their budgets based on a figure from government they thought they could trust. They will have to think again with the proposed increase now 30% less than what they had planned.
“This is another kick in the teeth for schools struggling to cope with years of underfunding from this government. Even before this unacceptable error, the proposed increase was far below inflation. This means a real terms cut to funding per pupil from a Conservative government that has failed to invest in our children’s future.”