ON TUESDAY, December 17, Powys County Council’s (PCC) cabinet is expected to agree to tweaks in the the School Funding Formula.

Agreed earlier this year and seen as an answer to school funding problems, the formula is already seen as just the first of several “on a journey” to find the right equation of money for schools in the county.

In September the Formula Review Group (FRG) made up of headteachers and governors was re-formed to look again at the formula.

The main conclusion was that there is a bias in the formula towards small

primary schools at the expense of secondary schools.

They came up with three main proposals:

  • Creation of a Teacher Learning Responsibility (TLR) Allowance – could cost an extra £1.4 million which is not budgeted for
  • Recognition of pupil movement during the year for secondary and primary schools.
  • Post 16 Grant Funding allocations.

By Tuesday when the decision is take, PCC could also know how much funding they are set to receive from The Welsh Government.

The Welsh Government is supposed to announce on Monday, December 16, what the share will be for each of Wales’ 22 local authorities.

This could be vital to fund the TLR allowances, which means that a teacher has an overall responsibility for a subject or curriculum area or leads pupil development. It entitles the teachers to an increase in pay.

Schools Finance Manager, Nancy Owen, said:”The proposed changes to the formula must be considered in the context of the Council’s financial position.

“The proposal to create a TLR allowance for secondary schools would cost an additional £1.4  million a year and this is not currently included in the council’s budget.”

” The Cabinet is currently developing a draft budget for 2020-21 and has

identified a worse-case scenario budget shortfall of £46 million over the

next three financial years.

“This gap does not include the expected increase in teachers’ pay and pensions costs estimated to be around £4.3 million in 2020-21 or the creation of a TLR allowance.”

The report adds that it is expected that the Cabinet will publish its draft budget in January 2020 and only then will the Schools Service know where their delegated budget will stand.

The report to cabinet also includes responses to the consultation on the proposals which was held in October and November.

The consultation findings are:

  • 50 per-cent of were supportive of creating a TLR allowance for
  • secondary schools
  • 53.33 per-cent were very supportive or supportive of the
  • Powys to Powys pupil movement proposal
  •  50% of respondents were very supportive or supportive of the Out of
  • County pupil movement proposal
  • 40 per-cent of respondents were very supportive or supportive of the Post 16 formula proposals and 50 per-cent wanted a transition period to the new
  • model.

Only 30 responses were received to the consultation on the formulae,

representing 32 per-cent of schools.