Walker welcomes billion pound boost for schools & another step towards fairer funding

Worcester MP Robin Walker has welcomed the Government’s £1.3 billion school funding boost that will see more money going to schools and the budgets run by head-teachers in Worcester.

Secretary of State for Education Justine Greening announced the boost for core school funding yesterday alongside plans for the new National Funding Formula (NFF) 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. Alongside the measures announced in the last spending review, the additional £2.6 billion investment over the next two years will aid the transition to the NFF, meaning an increase in the basic amount of funding for all pupils and across all schools, but sharper increases in lower funded areas.

The Education Secretary said the additional investment would help deliver historic reforms to the funding system, balancing fairness and stability for schools. For Robin Walker, 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.

Ms Greening said that school funding will be protected across the country, with schools in lower funded areas like Worcestershire seeing up to 3% increase per pupil and a 0.5% increase per pupil for every school, on top of funding that is already being received. In Worcester this sets a new minimum per pupil funding floor for secondary schools of £4,800 – more than £250 more per pupil more than the average of what is currently being received.

The Education Secretary also confirmed this week that the new national funding formula will continue to protect funding for pupils with additional needs, as proposed in the consultation published in December.

Launching the new plans, Education Secretary Justine Greening said,

“Fairer schools funding – backed by today’s additional investment – will deliver the biggest improvement to the school funding system for well over a decade. It will mean an increase in the basic amount that every pupil will get, protected funding for those with high needs and will ensure every local authority is in a position to give schools a cash increase through the new formula.”

“This means that, with teachers and schools across the country, we can continue to raise standards and give every child the best possible education, and the best opportunities for the future.”

Robin said,

“It is fantastic to see that we have taken another step forward in terms of delivering a fair funding formula that raises the funding for the lowest funded schools in our country. An uplift in funding for our local schools is a campaign that I have been committed to for a long time since I entered parliament in 2010, I spoke about it in my maiden speech and I pushed very hard in getting a commitment to introducing a national fairer funding formula into the Conservative manifesto”.

“This announcement sets the new floor of funding per pupil for secondaries at £4,800, some £254 more per pupil than the average of what currently being received locally which can make a substantial difference to our secondary schools. They were all set to benefit from changes proposed before the allocation of this extra funding but I hope they will see even greater benefit after this week’s announcements.”

“Whilst most stood to gain, a small proportion of local primaries stood to lose out under the previous proposals and will be pleased to see that no school will be losing funding as a result of these changes. 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 appear to have been heeded. It is important that we scrutinise this further when the details are published in September, but for now it is certainly the case that we are moving in the right direction. I’m sure this is something local schools and our County Council be will be able to welcome as a step towards the fairer funding formula for which we have all been campaigning for many years.”

ENDS

Notes to editors

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