Funding for specialist schools, including for High Performing Specialist Schools (HPSS), will be mainstreamed from April 2011. This funding, approximately £450 million for 2010-11, is not being removed from the schools system and will continue to be routed to schools through the Dedicated Schools Grant.
Michael Gove announced his decision ‘that from April 2011 funding for specialism should no longer take the form of a dedicated grant, so that all schools can decide how to develop their specialisms in the light of the total resources available to them. Schools will not be required to designate or re-designate’.
Also, from April 2011 the Department will therefore no longer fund the Specialist Schools and Academies Trust (SSAT) and Youth Sports Trust (YST) to support schools through the designation and re-designation process and run networks of specialist schools.
The SSAT has issued the statement responding to the Government’s announcement that it will ‘sweep away all the different ways in which money is ringfenced so that schools can decide how best to spend their money as they see fit’.
The Telegraph reported ‘A Whitehall source insisted that the specialist schools programme would remain but the additional funding would be redistributed within the Department for Education budget. The move is being seen as a shift away from ring-fenced budgets for specific projects in favour of a system of delegating most education funding directly to schools themselves.’