Robin Walker welcomes historic reforms to school funding as all Worcester schools set to gain

Worcester MP Robin Walker has today welcomed Education Secretary Justine Greening’s announcement of the full details of the Government’s new National Funding Formula for schools, which ends the historic postcode lottery.

The National Funding Formula (NFF), the biggest improvement to the school funding system for decades, will ensure that for the first time funding is based on the individual needs and characteristics of every school in the country. The publication of the final NFF for 2018-19 and 2019-20 in Parliament today follows two major consultations, generating more than 26,000 responses and follows the Government’s £1.3 billion school funding boost revealed in July, with the overall schools budget set to rise from nearly £41 billion in 2017-18 to £42.4 billion in 2018-19, and to £43.5 billion in 2019-20.

Under the plans announced today, every school will attract at least 0.5 per cent more per pupil in 2018-19 and 1 per cent more in 2019-20 compared to its baseline funding. Under the new National Funding Formula, in 2019-20 all secondary schools will attract at least £4,800 per pupil and primary schools will attract at least £3,500 per pupil. Previously underfunded schools are set to receive gains of up to 3 per cent per pupil in 2018-19 and a further 3 per cent per pupil in 2019-20.

The revised NFF also protects the £5.9 billion total funding directed towards additional needs, includes a £110,000 lump sum for every school to help with fixed costs, and guarantees an additional £26million to rural and isolated schools to help them manage their unique challenges.

For Robin, this follows an extensive campaign throughout his time in Parliament to secure a fairer funding deal for the county’s schools, which have been historically underfunded. Robin was for many years the Vice Chair of the cross party f40 campaign which pressed for a better deal for lower funded areas. He also served as PPS to the education secretary in the last Parliament and helped to keep funding reform high on the agenda.

Worcestershire secondary schools are set to see their per pupil funding increase by nearly £350 on the current year to £4,894. The county’s primary pupils also stand to gain, with their per pupil funding figure for 2018-19 at £3846 – well above the Government’s new baseline of £3,500

Secretary of State for Education Justine Greening said:

“Standards are rising across our school system and a fairer funding formula will ensure we can build on that success. It will replace the outdated funding system which saw our children have very different amounts invested in their education purely because of where they were growing up. That was unacceptable and we have now made school funding fairer between schools for the first time in decades.

“It’s a long overdue reform and our £1.3 billion extra funding means every school can gain.”

“The significant investment we are making in schools and the reforms we are introducing underpin our ambition for a world-class education system. Together, they will give schools a firm foundation that will enable them to continue to raise standards, promote social mobility, and give every child the best possible education and the best opportunities for the future.”

Commenting on the announcement, Robin said:

“Coming after the £1.3billion additional investment announced in July, this is great news for Worcester’s schools, which have historically been short-changed. The Government’s action in developing the new National Funding Formula, something I have campaigned for since I was elected in 2010, corrects this historic injustice – for the first time, we will have a transparent, simple and clear system that matches funding to the needs of pupils and the schools they attend.”

“Although most local schools benefitted from the initial proposals, a small proportion of local primaries stood to lose out and will now be pleased to see that not only will no school be losing per pupil funding as a result of these changes, but that primary funding per pupil will be increasing to at least £3,500 from 2019. I am glad to have arranged meetings to brief ministers directly on the concerns of all the schools that stood to lose funding and I am delighted those have been heeded.”

“These increases for both primary and secondary pupils represent a substantial increase in per pupil funding for Worcestershire, with both figures being above the Government’s new baseline funding numbers”.

“The introduction of the NFF from April 2018 means not only that the Government is delivering on a key election commitment, but also represents the delivery of a long-running campaigning commitment of mine to the teachers and parents of Worcester. I know that local headteachers will welcome this announcement, and I will be writing to them to discuss the details of the allocation.”

 

ENDS

Notes to editors

For the text of Justine Greening’s announcement, please see: https://www.gov.uk/government/speeches/justine-greening-statement-to-parliament-on-school-funding

To view the Secretary of State’s statement to the House of Commons on Monday 18th July 2017 please see

https://www.gov.uk/government/speeches/justine-greening-statement-to-parliament-on-school-funding

Robin has campaigned on fairer funding throughout his time in parliament and has raised the matter in each and every year of his time as MP for Worcester until becoming PPS to the Education Secretary in 2015.

From 2010 to 2015 Robin was Vice Chairman of the cross party f40 campaign. For more details on the f40 campaign see:

http://www.f40.org.uk

For more detail on Robin’s campaigns on this issue see:

http://www.walker4worcester.com/?s=fairer+funding

For Robin’s most recent speech on fairer funding and the cross party debate he led visit:

http://www.publications.parliament.uk/pa/cm201415/cmhansrd/cm150310/debtext/150310-0003.htm#150310-0003.htm_spnew44