November 26, 2015

The autumn statement

I know I am not alone in viewing parliamentary proceedings where, on occasions, MPs from all sides demonstrate behaviour that would not be tolerated in our classrooms. The constant interruptions, shouting at each other and making unfair and at times disrespectful remarks to one another. It is no wonder that some in our society don’t see the point of it all. Yesterday, was a good example, during the Chancellor’s budget statement we saw some of the worst examples of poor behaviour. The problem was that the content was so important for all members of our society.

Last year, the trust took a clear line on budget forecasting for all of our academies. We needed to pull our belts in because life was going to be challenging with little or no growth in the coming years. We anticipated relatively low inflation and had to consider the adverse impact caused by larger contributions for pensions and national insurance.

The autumn statement broadly confirmed the government’s principle of “flat cash” income for schools over the coming years, but within the detail of yesterday’s announcement the removal of Education Services Grant (part of our academies’ grant income) is a concern.  We will work with our academies to understand and address the impact of this change as part of setting the 2016/17 budgets.

The three year budget forecasts that the trust has produced provides a good level of confidence we are in a decent position to cope with what comes our way. This is important because financial viability is such an important aspect of our work in ensuring students and pupils get the best education possible. I am proud of the work undertaken by staff involved in this work. They are important contributors to our success and I want to thank them in this public way. In addition, their behaviour always exceeds that found in parliament on a day to day basis. For that, I am extremely grateful.

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