Robin Walker, MP for Worcester, has welcomed progress following the long awaited announcement from the Education Secretary relating to the second stage consultation of the government’s proposals to create a new national funding formula. Robin was Vice Chairman of the cross party f40 campaign for four years which has campaigned for a fairer funding formula.

Today in the Chamber, the Education Secretary reiterated Robin’s previous comments about tackling the historic postcode lottery in school funding. The new proposals consist of a consistent base rate for every pupil at primary and secondary which increases in value as they progress for the system – accounting for over £23 billion of core schools funding and over 70% of the funding total.

Secondly, the Government is proposing to protect resources for pupils who come from disadvantaged families with £3 billion funding for those most in need of support; for example children in receipt of free school meals and those who live in disadvantaged areas. This in addition to the pupil premium will be protected at current rates for the remainder of this parliament. There is also a commitment to protect smaller rural schools by an inclusion of a sparsity factor. No school can lose more than 3% on a per pupil basis but there is also added protection of no school losing more than 1.5% overall. No local authority will see its funding decline for high needs. The Department for Education has now published school by school data which shows that every secondary school in Worcester stands to gain from this process.

Worcestershire schools would see a rise of 2.2% in the first year of transition and the figure including high needs and the central baseline funding which is currently £349,426,423 will rise to £355,351,345 in the first year and £358,394,352 in the second. This is approximately a £9 million gain.

The Education Secretary is keen to hear from as many schools and stakeholders as possible so the consultation will be open for fourteen weeks until 22nd March 2017. The plan is for the new funding formula to be introduced in 2018/19.

Robin said:

“I pushed very hard to get a commitment on introducing a national fair funding formula into the last Conservative manifesto and I am delighted that today the Education secretary has delivered on the next stage of that commitment. It is great news that the new funding formula will be in place by 2020. I was delighted to on the front bench to hear the statement today.”

“Broadly speaking the proposals appear to present a fairer method of funding for our schools, but I know local schools will want to carefully assess the full implications, including the transitional arrangements, before responding in detail to the consultation.”

“I want to make sure all our local schools have their say in this process and I encourage them each individually to look at the detail in this consultation, at how the proposed numbers affect them and the basis of the formula that drives them. I will work with any schools that have concerns to make sure they get raised at the highest level but I also want to make sure that those who stand to gain, including all my secondary schools in Worcester, engage with the consultation to make sure positive momentum is sustained.”

“It’s vital that local schools, their heads and their governors respond to the consultation and make clear the basis on which they feel the new formula must work. I know how busy and how passionate local teachers and headteachers are and what a phenomenal job they’ve been doing but I also know they won’t want to miss out on the chance to have their say.”

“The consultation will be open until 22nd March and I want to make sure Worcestershire’s voice is heard loud and clear within it.”

“In the last Parliament the campaign for fair funding achieved extra funding for around £6.7 million for local schools, on a quick reading of the figures this looks like a bigger gain than that, between eight and nine million pounds. I will be delighted if through having a strong response to the consultation we can improve Worcestershire’s share further.”

Notes to Editors:

To partake in the consultation and to view the summary data table:

https://consult.education.gov.uk/funding-policy-unit/schools-national-funding-formula2/

You can also email: SchoolsNationalFundingFormula.CONSULTATION@education.gov.uk

For further information about the second stage of the consultation:

https://consult.education.gov.uk/funding-policy-unit/schools-national-funding-formula2/supporting_documents/NFF_Stage2_executive_summary.pdf

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 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

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

https://www.walker4worcester.com/walker-delighted-as-fairer-funding-for-schools-goal-is-met-in-todays-autumn-statement/

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