Government reforms may mean schools closed down

Dozens of small schools in Staffordshire will be threatened with closure or mergers because of Government funding reforms, education bosses warn.

primary school child

The way all schools receive money from the Dedicated Schools Grant will change nationally from next year. Instead of different amounts going to varying sizes of schools, all schools, no matter how big or small, will instead receive the same lump sum.

And education bosses in Staffordshire said the way the Government wanted to distribute the cash could lead to the closure or merger of some schools because it would be hard to justify the same pot of money going to all schools, regardless of their size or number of pupils. They are demanding a rethink from the Department for Education.

Councillor Liz Staples, cabinet member for education and skills, said: “This is going to cause major problems. Staffordshire has a very diverse amount of schools. A school with 50 pupils doesn’t need as much money as a school with 600.

“We have 27 schools with 50 or less pupils and we also have some small middle and secondary schools. They could close. It is a possibility.”

A consultation has been launched with schools in the county to discuss the changes, which will run until October 3.