I THINK (people) are quite correct to be sceptical about the promised increase in funding for education, announced just before Parliament closed for the summer. 

Having listened to the debate, it was obvious that the money is actually expected to be found through what is euphemistically referred to as ‘efficiency savings’; in plain language, staff redundancies. 

So in fact, no new funding at all, just the same pot of money being divided up in a different way.

This issue was discussed on the BBC Daily Politics Show with Andrew Neal earlier this week. 

Even the Conservative MP, who was his guest, accepted that funding for the vast majority of schools (the mixture of academies and LEA schools that we have in Somerset) would have gone down if Theresa May had been able to impose new grammar schools and ‘free’ schools, which would have taken funding (as well as pupils) away from other schools.

Having spent 10 years as a school governor, I would also caution former colleagues about expecting any increase in their school’s budget. 

For those that are unaware, school budgets are assembled from a variety of funding streams and the Secretary for Education, Justine Greening, only referred to the ‘Fair Funding Formula’ being increased. 

Despite being challenged several times, she carefully avoided identifying if the other streams would be increased, remain static or, worse, cut yet again.

At this stage, it is difficult to be certain of what the likely effect will be, but in the previous change earlier this year, just one school in Somerset saw an overall increase in funding, all others saw a reduction. 

I think the lesson to be learned is “beware of politicians bearing ‘gifts’”.