Lord Agnew puts focus on school finance


Academies minister Lord Agnew has warned schools that existing funding must be spent properly if the sector is to receive more funding for key areas.

In a speech at the Wellington College of Education, he identified four areas that require support but added that schools need to show they are using existing funds effectively.

Lord Agnew suggested that extra funding is needed for high needs education, as well for pension contributions, post 16 studies and rural primary schools.

“I think for us to credibly win the argument for those areas which I believe are important we need to be showing that we are doing everything we can with the money we receive,” he said.

When quizzed on whether current funds in the education system are being used effectively, Lord Agnew conceded that not all schools are operating as efficiently as they could be.

Lord Agnew has previously faced criticism from head teachers for suggesting that there is still wasted finance in the system, but he has again reiterated his stance that improvements can be made.

“I’m not suggesting there aren’t pressures, of course, there are pressures…and I want to see more money going into the system,” he explained.

“But there’s no point putting extra money in if the existing money isn’t being used properly.”

Lord Agnew, who co-founded the Inspiration Trust, spoke of the need to finance areas of education that can provide the biggest boosts to the system.

He explained that there are numerous ways of overcoming budgetary issues and that a new growth fund for academies, delivered via the Trust, is in the pipeline


The fund will help smaller academies to merge and tackle challenges together, while Lord Agnew also suggested that teacher pay reform could have a major impact on teacher recruitment and retention.

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