School funding

Challenges of School Funding Amidst Falling Pupil Numbers

PAG Staff2024, Article, DfE, free schools, Fund, Inequalities, Local Authorities, Policy, Schools

Challenges of School Funding Amidst Falling Pupil Numbers in England In an illuminating report by the Education Policy Institute (EPI), a concerning trend has emerged that could have significant repercussions for schools across England. Despite plans for real-terms increases in per-pupil funding, schools are facing potential budget cuts due to a projected decline in pupil numbers. This paradoxical situation presents a …


Understanding the Revamped Ofsted Complaints Procedure

PAG Staff2024, DfE, free schools, Governance, Leadership, Schools, wellbeing

Understanding the Revamped Ofsted Complaints Procedure In an educational landscape where accountability and quality assurance play pivotal roles, Ofsted’s updated complaints procedure, effective from April 5th 2024, marks a significant shift towards greater transparency and fairness. This change, propelled by a comprehensive consultation last year that garnered over 1,500 responses from various sectors, reflects Ofsted’s commitment to refining its approach to …

SEND transport

The Rising Cost of SEND Transport

PAG Staff2024, alternative provision, Article, free schools, Governance, Independent schools, Inequalities, Local Authorities, Schools, SEND

The Rising Cost of SEND Transport In recent years, councils across England have faced a significant financial challenge that has largely flown under the radar: the skyrocketing cost of providing school transport for children with Special Educational Needs and Disabilities (SEND). A comprehensive investigation by the BBC has laid bare the extent of this issue, revealing a nearly doubled expenditure within …

alternative provision specialist taskforces

Alternative Provision Specialist Taskforces (APST)

PAG Staff2024, alternative provision, DfE, free schools, Inequalities, Policy, Safeguarding, Schools, SEND

Alternative Provision Specialist Taskforces (APST) The Department for Education (DfE) has embarked on a transformative approach to support vulnerable young people at risk of exploitation, gang involvement or serious violence, or falling out of education or employment through the introduction of Alternative Provision Specialist Taskforces (APST). This initiative aims to keep these individuals engaged in their education, steer them away from …

Academy conversion

Academy Conversion Grant Changes

PAG Staff2024, Article, bid writing, DfE, free schools, Policy, Schools, Transition

Academy Conversion Grant Changes In a significant development, the Department for Education (DfE) has updated the eligibility criteria for maintained schools considering conversion to academy or trust status. This change, announced just yesterday (21/03/24), aims to streamline the conversion process and encourage a more collaborative, community-driven approach among schools. Let’s delve into what this means for schools and the strategic implications …

SEND deficits

SEND Deficits Prompt Funding Redirect

PAG Staff2024, Article, free schools, Government reporting, Independent schools, Inequalities, Local Authorities, Schools, SEND

SEND Deficits Prompt Funding Redirect In an unprecedented move highlighting the depth of the financial crisis facing Special Educational Needs and Disabilities (SEND) funding in the UK, more than 20 councils have received ministerial approval to redirect a total of £67 million from their schools’ budgets. This decision marks a significant shift from previous years, where such requests were largely denied, …

academy conversion

Academy Conversions & MAT Formation

PAG Staff2024, Case Studies, free schools, Governance, online resources, Project Management, Schools, Transition

Academy Conversions & MAT Formation In the last decade, the landscape of the English education system has undergone significant transformations, with a prominent shift towards the conversion of traditional state schools into academies, and the formation of multi-academy trusts (MATs). This movement has reshaped the way education is managed and delivered, offering a new paradigm that promised enhanced autonomy, tailored educational …

Title reads 'A PAG report on establishing children's homes

Children’s Homes: A PAG Report

PAG Staff2024, Article, Case Studies, Independent schools, Local Authorities, Policy, Schools, wellbeing

Children’s Homes:A PAG Report The landscape of children’s social care in England is evolving, with the government committing significant resources to expand and improve children’s home placements. Using publicly available data and studies, and our own experience and expertise, PAG has produced a report titled ‘Establishing Children’s Homes’, looking into what it takes to successfully establish and operate a children’s home …

Independent Schools VAT

Independent Schools VAT – SEND Exemption?

PAG Staff2024, Article, Independent schools, Inequalities, Policy, Schools, SEND

Independent Schools VAT – SEND Exemption? In recent discussions within the UK’s educational and political landscapes, a crucial debate has emerged concerning the application of VAT on school fees, specifically regarding provisions for special needs education (SEND) within independent schools.Independent Schools VAT Row?  As of January and April 2023, contrasting positions have been highlighted by Bridget Phillipson in the House of Commons …

DfE replaces governance handbook

Governance handbook replaced by DfE

PAG Staff2024, Article, free schools, Governance, online resources, Policy, Schools

New Governance Guides for Schools and Academy Trusts:A Simplified Approach  The Department for Education (DfE) has taken a significant step forward in the realm of educational governance by releasing two specialised guides aimed at maintained schools and academy trusts, effectively replacing the previous DfE Governance Handbook updated in January 2017. This move marks a pivotal shift towards simplification and focus …