A FORMER York head teacher has spelt out the impact of funding changes on an average primary school and average secondary school in the city.

David Ellis, the recently retired head of York High School, was questioning whether the Government’s new ‘Fairer Funding Formula’ was fair for York, and said any increases in money would not offset huge increases in school costs in the last few years.

He claimed that although overall the vast majority of York schools would receive an increase in their funding, York’s increases were ‘not as significant’ as many other areas.

“In short the crisis continues and is clearly exemplified by looking at the funding of two York schools, using data that is readily available within DfE published Performance tables and the City of York Council School Forum papers which deal with school finances,” he said.

He said the secondary school and primary school he had analysed, which he preferred not to identify and dubbed Schools A and B, would have faced a 3.4 per cent increase in employer National Insurance Contributions since April 2016, a 2.38 per cent increase in employer teacher pension contributions since September 2015 and annual pay awards for the last five years of 1 per cent . “None of these increases in costs have been supported by an increased income for schools,” he said.

“Whilst finances are complicated, the summary of some simple data from these two schools makes it clear why York schools are finding it increasingly difficult to provide the quality of education we would expect for our children.

“The additional cost to School A of these changes is approximately £190,000 per year and to School B £40,000 per year. It should be noted that these are only the additional staffing costs for teachers.

"Schools also employ support staff, have to pay increasing energy bills as well as purchasing resources for learning. Over a three year period, the total additional costs for School A will exceed three quarters of a million pounds and for School B at least £200,000. The only way that schools can manage this situation is by reducing staff. In School A, the number of teachers had fallen from 58.6 full time equivalent posts (FTE) to 53.8 and in School B, the number had reduced from 11.2 to 9.6 FTE, and this trend would have continued in 2016 and 2017. In 2018-19 it was predicted that School A would gain an additional £147,000 and School B £108,000.It is clear these increases do not offset the huge increases in costs.”