State of Education Report 2017 state-of-education-booklet-Final-WEB - Page 14

Governor perspective
Only one-fifth ( 20 %) of governors think the proposed national funding formula will make it easier for their school to forecast and plan their budget effectively , echoing the views of school leaders .
While governors anticipate funding pressures ahead , they are confident in their ability to oversee finances in their schools . More than nine in 10 ( 93 %) governors are confident that their board has the knowledge and skills to hold the leadership team to account for financial management . A similar proportion ( 91 %) thinks that their board has full oversight of their school ’ s financial situation , and more than half ( 56 %) are confident that they will be able to manage any funding pressures over the coming two years .
Successfully managing budget pressures , however , does not come without related challenges , and governors acknowledge that making savings could detrimentally affect their school ’ s performance . Seven in 10 ( 72 %) governors are not confident , for instance , that standards can be maintained if cuts are made to their school ’ s staffing budget . This is worrying , given that two-thirds of school leaders expect to have to make savings from their staff structure in the next two years . Cuts to staff development are similarly unfavourable , with only one-third ( 34 %) of governors confident that school performance would not suffer in this instance .
“ We have the expertise and experience to generate additional income , but in the deprived area we operate from in a 1950s building we have very few opportunities .”
School leader
What funding change would schools most like to see ?
When we asked school leaders to choose , from a list of possible scenarios , which single funding change would have the most positive impact on their school over the next three years , two options stood out . Higher base funding rates and higher levels of special educational needs ( SEN ) funding would be favoured by 29 % and 22 % of school leaders respectively .
Secondary school leaders , in particular , champion the prospect of higher base funding – 40 % believe this would have the most impact , compared to 27 % of primary school leaders .
While secondary leaders tend to prioritise higher levels of capital funding ( 18 %) over funding for SEN ( 10 %), in primary schools the reverse is true ( 15 % and 24 % respectively ).