The Apprentice Levy Could Close Small Council Schools

Some bright spark came up with the idea of boosting apprenticeship funding across England. On the face of it that is a good idea except, as usual, it was drawn up on the back of a fag packet.

From May employers must pay what amounts to a 0.5% tax to fund this new scheme.

Council schools will be hit by this but, guess what, academies are exempt! Who’d have thunk that?

Not unreasonably the Local Government Association want the rules change to put ALL schools on an equal footing.

Honestly, what sort of a dimwit would come up with such a dumbarse idea?

The LGA says the levy will unfairly hit the finances of about 9,000 small community schools, usually primaries, with a total of 2.8 million pupils.

This means that the apprenticeship levy is applied to them, and will need to be accounted for in school budgets from April 2017, according to the LGA.

But free standing academies, where the academy trust is the employer, will be exempt.

The same is true of some faith and foundation schools, where the governing body is the employer.

Richard Watts, chairman of the LGA’s Children and Young People Board said “It is discriminatory,”

“It is no secret that many schools are struggling with their funding, yet once again, council-maintained schools are being dealt a poor hand compared to academies.”

Head teachers are not impressed with this clearly divisive move. The National Association of Head Teachers warned that while 0.5% might not sound like much, “it comes in the context of school budgets being at breaking point already”.

“It’s another example of government policies hurting schools”.

Just to rub salt into the wound schools are asking a very simple question. Exactly which apprenticeships are even applicable to schools in the first place?

The genius behind all this is Robert Halfon. Who???


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