Councillor Peter Downes delivered a devastating speech at the Anti-Academies Alliance's conference
today in which he forensically proved just how muddled the academies programme is. His carefully worked-out calculations, together with the news today that the government is doing a U-turn on its academies funding after the threats of legal action
, prove that the academies funding is a state of complete chaos. He's shown how the Department for Education has "top-sliced" local authority budgets in a very crude way and then allocated that money to academies. The problem is that they've miscalculated the amount they've "top-sliced" and given academies too much money, which has meant that LA's don't have enough money for other vital public services such as social services and so forth. Now that there are so many schools wanting to convert to being academies because of the generous "bonus" on offer, the DfE is faced with creating a black hole in local authority finances in order to continue funding academies at the current rate. Downes writes:
"The DfE have recently produced a consultation on the rationale and principles of school funding in which they emphasise, many times, that equitable funding for all types of schools is priority. If this aspiration is to be honoured, urgent measures need to be taken to reduce the Local Authority Central Spend Equivalent Grant (LACSEG) to the correct bonus-free level for 2012-2013, without 'protection'. Some would argue that equity demands that the excess bones for the preceding years should be identified and clawed back."
This comes on top of the news that the government is doing another U-turn and revising its funding formula for academies, after being threatened with legal action by 23 councils this May