School Funding

11th September 2019

The Spending Round announced last week commits £2.6bn extra to schools in England next year and ensures that all government departments have the funding they need to deliver on the public’s priorities.

Schools in Gloucestershire have suffered for too long under the current funding system, and I have campaigned for many years alongside local Headteachers for the Government to review the funding formula which is not fair on rural schools.

In July this year, I spoke in the Estimate Day debate highlighting the local Government funding pressures in Gloucestershire, making up one of the 42 local authorities who are among the lowest funded for education in England.

The spending review follows the announcement of a three-year plan to increase school funding by £7.1bn by 2022-23, enabling per-pupil funding to increase. A new minimum level of per-pupil funding will commit to increasing Secondary school spending from £4,800 to £5,000 and from £3,500 to £4,000 in Primary schools.

There will also be an investment of £400 million in Further Education, ensuring young people have the skills they need for the future and an extra £700m for pupils with special educational needs.

Having campaigned with teachers across the Cotswolds and seen the amazing work they do for our children, I also welcome the announcement that new teachers’ salaries in England could reach £30,000, as part of plans to increase recruitment.

I am delighted that this Spending Round is committed to increasing spending on education and supports the nation’s priorities. Having campaigned for many years for fairer funding for schools, the news that per-pupil funding is set to increase will mean rural schools receive the funding they deserve.

Cirencester College Principal, Jim Grant, who has called for the Government to increase Further Education funding across Gloucestershire said: 

“We are really grateful for the support Sir Geoffrey has shown to our students in raising the issue of underfunding of sixth form students with his fellow MPs and in elect committees. While we will not benefit from the uplift for our local schools we are delighted to see that new investment for 5-16 year olds. We also welcome the initial new investment in further education as a first step towards parity of funding across the age ranges. Sir Geoffrey has taken a genuine interest in our students and the challenges of providing high quality education for all in a rural area. We look forward to working with him to build on this and to secure a fair long-term deal for 16-18 year olds.”

Work will continue to ensure all funding gaps are filled, but this spending round is a welcomed first step to reversing budget cuts to education funding and ensuring schools across the country receive the investments they need.

 

(Photo credit: Cirencester College) 

Sir Geoffrey Clifton-Brown visits Cirencester College

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