The leadership of the BAWB Federation of schools (Bainbridge, Askrigg and West Burton) today announced that they would be postponing public engagement on the challenges faced by the schools on the advice of officers from the County Council.
The drop-in sessions scheduled for 4 October in the three communities will now not take place and the release of the supporting document will also be postponed.
The reason for this is that Government announcements on 14 September regarding the National Funding Formula for Schools has implications for school funding in North Yorkshire for 2018-19 and beyond and, until these are better understood, it is difficult to report with accuracy the potential impact on the BAWB schools.
Commenting on the decision, the chairman of governors, Derek Walpole, said: “Indications are that we will see some rise in income, but how much and when is, as yet, unclear. It is important that the information we present to parents and the wider community on the financial challenges we face contains the most accurate information available. However, along with all other North Yorkshire Schools, we do not know at this stage how much income we will receive in 2018-19 or subsequent years.
“In that context we feel it would be inappropriate to ask people to express opinion on potentially incomplete information and therefore have accepted the advice of NYCC. We remain committed to engaging and hearing views in the way we had set out and emphasise this is a postponement not a cancellation.’’
Anton Hodge, Assistant NYCC Director of Strategic Resources, said: ‘‘Since the recent announcements we have been examining the potential impacts of the National Funding Formula on North Yorkshire Schools. Later this term we will be taking recommendations on funding formulas to the Education Partnership, a consultative and decision-making body which includes headteacher and governor representatives from across the county. It is fully expected that the level of funding for 2018-19 will be confirmed by the end of the year.’
County Councillor Patrick Mulligan, Executive Member for Schools, said: “I fully understand the reasons for this and agree it is important that the community has the most complete and accurate information available. It is right that all concerned with leading our schools take stock of the national announcement before proceeding further.
“I am reassured this is a postponement not a cancellation and that the Federation remains committed to engaging with the community at the appropriate time.’’