A FORMULA to fund Monmouthshire’s first school for pupils aged three to nineteen has been agreed despite opposition from an existing secondary. 

The county council has had to draw up a new formula as its current policies provide funding either for primary or secondary schools but Abergavenny’s King Henry VIII school is an “all through 3-19 school”. 

A consultation on the proposal saw Monmouth Comprehensive School complain that the new school is being funded for a management team of 10, at a cost of a £20,000 more than secondary schools receive. 

The council has defended the formula which it says recognises a larger management team of one headteacher, two non-teaching deputies split between the older and younger pupils, and seven assistant headteachers who will also teach. 

The formula will continue to award funding based on the age of pupils in line with how secondary and primaries are funded. 

Cllr Martyn Groucutt, the cabinet member for education, said the only difference in the formula for King Henry is that as a “brand new school” it will receive a lower amount for maintenance costs and “the equipment is all brand new”. 

Funding for regular maintenance only will be provided in the first five years while from its sixth year of operation there will be 50 per cent funding for general maintenance and after 11 years funding will fall in line with other schools. 

Additional funding will also be requested in the upcoming budget to reflect the higher rates the school will have to pay due to increased land values while the council has also said it will review school management costs in response to the concerns raised by Monmouth Comprehensive.

King Henry opened as an all-through school in September, though it currently operates from the site of the former 11-18 comprehensive and the former Deri View primary school. It is expected to operate from a single site from April next year. 

The new formula will be used from April 2025 but has had to be agreed ahead of the new financial year.