The key news is that there is
- both a financial increase of 6.4% next year to Northumberland schools.
- and a consultation on change.
Last week the Government announced that schools in Northumberland will receive an extra £10.6 million funding in 2015/16, addressing the historic unfairness in the way school funding has been allocated. This 6.4% uplift is part of a proposed £350 million boost to the most underfunded local authorities. It represents a step towards removing the unfairness which exists in the school funding system - which has seen Northumberland's schools underfunded compared to their urban counterparts in Newcastle and Gateshead for many years.
I raised this with the Schools Minister David Laws in the House of a Commons last week:
"Last summer the Minister visited Northumberland, where schoolchildren have, historically, been chronically underfunded, compared with those in other areas, by central Government. May I welcome the 6.4% increase in early 2015 and the ongoing consultation, and observe that the case for fairer funding is absolutely overwhelming? The Minister should prepare for a lot of representations from my head teachers.”
Mr Laws responded:
"I am grateful to my hon. Friend for his welcome of our announcement. I congratulate him on his robust campaigning over a period of time to ensure this fairer funding settlement. As he knows, under our plans Northumberland’s per pupil funding rate will increase by around £269 per pupil per year, which will mean over £10 million more for schools in his area."
The school funding system that we inherited is fundamentally unfair. It is a postcode lottery that results in pupils attracting very different levels of funding without good reason. Compared to schools in Newcastle and Gateshead, Northumberland's schools have got a raw deal for far too long.
The Announcement is here: https://www.gov.uk/government/speeches/david-laws-oral-statement-on-minimum-funding-levels
The consultation document is here: https://www.gov.uk/government/consultations/fairer-schools-funding-2015-to-2016
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