Council condemns government’s decision to withdraw the School Improvement Grant

26 January 2022

In last night’s Full Council meeting, Councillors expressed profound disappointment in the government’s recent announcement to withdraw the School Improvement Monitoring & Brokering Grant, and instead fund all improvement activity through school budgets.

Richmond Council received £176,506 in 2021/22 to monitor the performance of its maintained schools, support school improvement activities, and intervene in under-performing schools as appropriate. The government has decided to halve the grant in 2022/23 and withdraw it completely from 2023/24. The Department for Education’s expectation is that schools will fund their own school improvement activities, but without any additional funding to support this.

The removal of the grant will impact the Council’s ability to collect and analyse data on performance in maintained schools, provide support to schools where concerns are identified, and intervene where needed.

The government carried out a consultation with Councils, maintained schools and academy schools ahead of their decision and the majority of respondents raised significant concerns over funding pressures. Additionally, 70.6% of respondents disagreed that the government’s alternative proposals would enable Councils to ensure they are sufficiently funded to exercise all their core school improvement activities.

Cllr Penny Frost, Chair of the Education and Children’s Services Committee at Richmond Council, said:

“Getting rid of the School Improvement Grant is a major blow to schools that are already struggling with over-stretched budgets. It is extremely disappointing that the government does not recognise the importance of school improvement work, which ensures schools and the Council can maintain the high-quality education we provide to young people in Richmond upon Thames.”

Visit GOV.UK for the report on the consultation.

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Up to: January 2022

Updated: 27 January 2022

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