LETTER: Questionnaire too complicated

I have read Tim Loughton's request for '˜as many parents to make their views known about the Department of Education's new funding formula' (page 74, February 16) in a consultation that runs to March 22, and I have a major concern:

The online survey that he is encouraging parents to complete is incredibly complex to complete; I wonder if Tim Loughton has read through the survey himself? I believe that parents would need very detailed guidance to complete the 12-page questionnaire – e.g., to understand what all the different terms mean, such as ‘weightings for additional needs factors’, ‘sparsity funding’, ‘funding floor’, ‘central school services block funding’ and ‘equalities analysis’.

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As a parent of a child in a West Sussex secondary school, I would have no idea how to answer the questions.

Also, for reference, I believe the website cited in the article is incorrect – I was redirected to: consult.education.gov.uk/funding-policy-unit/schools-national-funding-formula2

I know that both Tim Loughton and the Herald are doing what they can to support the campaign for fairer funding for pupils in West Sussex but I think his article referring to this Government consultation is missing a huge opportunity.

If Tim Loughton is really keen for parents to show their views, I suggest that he either provides clear guidance on how to complete the complicated questionnaire, or suggests another way for us parents to tell the Government how unfair the funding gap is and what is needed in the new funding formula.

I also thought it surprising that the article on page 10 about the school heads’ fury over £150million for grammar schools did not explain what parents could do to support the Worth Less? campaign or refer to Tim Loughton’s column on page 74.

Sarah Tosey

Hayling Rise



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