Using the Free Schools Ready Reckoner
I had a go at estimating how much per pupil the Maharishi school
in Lancashire would receive next year when they become a "Free School". Since they state they are taking 75 pupils from primary and secondary, I was able to do an informed calculation on their possible funds. I assumed they will have 38 in Primary and 37 in Secondary, with 5% on Free School Meals in both primary and secondary. This is a generous FSM allocation because they're clearly a well-off private school at the moment with probably no pupils on FSM. The figure according to the Reckoner is that they would receive £467,360 in total from the DfE. I then did the same calculation using the fees structure outlined on their website, which was a total of £479,388. My calculations suggested that they will have a short-fall of £12K in funding, if they had no FSM in Primary and in Secondary they'd have a shortfall of approximately £20K in funding because of the Pupil Premium. Quite a sum for such a small school. Nevertheless, even though they will have a short-fall, they'll be receiving £1537 more per pupil according to the Reckoner than the neighbouring secondary school, Ormskirk
, which is ten minutes drive away. However, I suspect they'll be receiving quite a bit more per head than the figures projected by the Reckoner.
Will they need to do some Transcendental Meditation to solve the problem, a technique they teach in the school? Or will they simply have to ask Mr Gove for some cash that isn't shown on the Ready Reckoner? At the moment, their secondary school fees are £2,300 more than per pupil than the state average. I have a feeling the Ready Reckoner is not reliable at all and that this school must have been told of funds which have not been publicly declared.