THE BLAME for implementing a funding formula which is is already £5.5 million light, should be shouldered by councillors not the schools.

That was the view of the chairman of the Funding Review Group (FRG), school governor, Graham Taylor.

He told The Learning Skills and Economy Scrutiny Committee on Friday, January 4, that the gap between adequate funding and the departmental budget, was £5.5 million less than was needed.

Education officers tweaking the formula had got the gap down to less than £1 million more than the education budget of £70,480,215.

Mr Taylor, said: "The FRG came up with what we thought was the minimum provision and that's £5.5 million more than the budget that's on offer.

"I can see how the officers made the changes so that the gap is about £1 m.

"I'm not going to get into an argument about which of those options are least worst as that's a decision for the council to make.

"It's important that the council makes those decisions so that anyone in the school community can see where those decisions have come from.

"So if it comes through that parents are worried about the amount of time a headteacher can spend on leadership, that's a consequence of a decision made by the council not the school itself.

"We need to be very clear on that."

Mr Taylor finished by saying he was of the opinion that the: "council has cut it back too much."

Head of finance, Jane Thomas, said it was very clear that "right from the outset" there was no extra money for schools from the formula change.

She added that schools had seen their funding increased in recent years as other departments received cuts.

And schools could not continue to expect to be protected from cuts.

Ms Thomas said: "There was never an expectation that the overall pot was going to increase and we have never indicated that was as possibility.

"It's about having a formula that delivers the formula transparently, depicting the minimum level and schools will gave guidance against that.

The formula, along with the scrutiny committee's advice, will then go to cabinet for a decision on Tuesday, January 15.

It is expected to come into force from April (2019)

Funding formula background:

Financial predictions for the next three years, show that all secondary schools and many primary schools would go into the red

Figures predict that schools could be £6.5 million in the red by 2021.

In June, the Cabinet was forced to agree deficit budgets for schools in the red.

On Friday, January 4,  the Powys County Council (PCC) Learning Skills and Economy Scrutiny Committee will get their final opportunity to quiz education officers on the new schools' funding formula.