Scrutiny finds £23 million shortfall in education funding formula
26th October 2021
Yesterday, the Children, Education and Home Affairs Scrutiny Panel (CEHA), held a hearing with the Chair of Governors, Phillip Le Claire, and former Chair of Governors, Phill Hawley, of Haute Vallée School.
The Panel invited the Chair to meet with them following a meeting with independent members. The Chair had requested a meeting with the Chief Minister, Senator John Le Fondré, and later met with the Minister for Children and Education, Deputy Scott Wickenden.
During the hearing, the Panel were informed that:
- The Board of Governors has approved a deficit budget for Haute Vallée for 2022. The Board felt that approving a balanced budget would risk the school's ability to deliver a 'broad and balanced curriculum.'
- The Education Reform Programme has found that there is a funding formula deficit of £23 million for primary and secondary schools. This figure does not include funding for Special Educational Needs support or for Highlands College. The full results of the Education Reform Programme are yet to be published.
- Staffing is a major concern. Current staff are at risk of burning out, and the school faces significant challenges in recruiting new staff. This is partly due to cost of living issues, and delays to advertising available posts.
- Despite all these challenges, staff at the school continue to work hard to support students. This has led to a marked improvement in attainment, with the percentage of students achieving 5 A* to C GCSE grades increasing from 23% in 2018 to 64% this year.
Deputy Robert Ward, Chair of the Children, Education and Home Affairs Scrutiny Panel, commented: "I'd first like to thank the Chair, and former Chair of Governors, for their comments during this hearing.
"It is clear from their comments that Haute Vallée students benefit from dedicated and passionate staff, who go above and beyond to support them. But it is painfully clear that this is despite the significant funding challenges the school faces.
"While the Panel is shocked by some of the evidence, much of it is not surprising. Our Teacher Recruitment and Retention Review found that the cost of living was one of the factors hampering the recruitment of teachers.
"As part of our ongoing review into the Government Plan 2022-2025, I'd welcome input from Governors of any other schools."
You can WATCH the full hearing on our website.
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