Robin Squire said: 'The Common Funding Formula has proved to be successful and popular in the five local authorites where it was introduced this year.
'A recent survey conducted by the department for education shows that schools taking part in the CFF would not return to the former local authority replication arrangments. It also shows that grant-maintained schools, not currently subject to the CFF, want to press ahead with its introduction.
'In view of the enthusiasm shown by the schools working with the new Formula, we have no hesitation in taking the scheme forward in a number of new authorities.'
The minister also confirmed that there would be no extension of the CFF to primary schools in 1995-96. The 1995-96 areas will be:
Barnet, Enfield, Surrey, Brent, Hertfordshire, Sutton, Cambridgeshire, Kent, Walsall, Croydon, Kingston, Wandsworth, Cumbria, Lambeth, Wiltshire, Ealing and Lincolnshire.
Ministers' plans for the 1995-96 CFF have been set out in a letter sent today to all GM schools and LEAs, following widespread consultation with both GM schools and local education authorities and in the light of experience gained from the operation of the CFF in the initial five areas.
The results of a questionnaire sent to all GM secondary schools and LEAs involved in the 1994-5 CFF were also announced today in a letter sent to the GM schools and LEAs in the 5 areas.
This letter explained that 87 out of a possible 127 schools had responded to the questionnaire, and that results confirmed:
- the vast majority of schools were glad to have been involved with the 1994-95 CFF
- most schools were more than satisfied with the quality of the consultation by the department
Mr Squire said: 'The results of the survey have come as no surprise. Schools are clearly pleased with the operation of the CFF this year and the results confirm the high level of commitment among the GM schools to the new system.'