Worcester MP Robin Walker has welcomed the Conservative Government’s commitment to delivering fairer funding, increased places for schools across the country and has particularly celebrated a major increase in funding for higher needs in Worcester.

Robin, who for many years was one of the leaders of the cross-party campaign for fairer funding in parliament, has praised the news that the £14 billion increase in education spending is being targeted to lower funded areas and that a minimum funding guarantee will mean some particularly big increase for Worcester schools. Schools in the city will see an increase of £4 million in the next year alone.

The Government confirmed last month that schools across Worcestershire will receive on average 4.6% more funding per pupil next year and new more detailed figures show that schools in Worcester will see an average increase of 4.8% in the year 2020/21 as part of the recent multi-billion investment in primary and secondary education.

The average primary school in Worcester will gain 5.4% next year and the average secondary school 4%, with all schools set to benefit with an overall increase in higher needs funding of 15%. As one of the last acts of the 2019 Parliament, the Commons will today pass a statutory instrument to ensure that the whole of these increases is passed on to schools and to stop local authorities from top-slicing them as they have in the past.

Every secondary school will be able to receive a minimum of £5,000 per pupil next year, and every primary school will be able to receive a minimum of £3,750 next year and £4,000 from 2021-22. Having led the cross-party campaign for fairer funding, securing millions more for local schools already, Robin has welcomed a drive to level up funding with every school in Worcester set to see an increase above the rate of inflation.

Robin was also pleased that the education system in Worcestershire will receive a 15% increase in higher needs funding. He has been raising concerns about the funding for both special schools and children with additional needs in mainstream schools with colleagues at the Department of Education for some time. In Worcester, the average per pupil funding in 2020-21 for primary schools will be £4,123 and for secondary schools £5,217 per pupil. The total funding for schools in Worcester for 2020-21 will rise to £59,413,362. This compares to £54.8m in 2018/19 and £55.6m for 2019/20, demonstrating that the propaganda that Labour have been circulating about supposed cuts to school funding is untrue. The UK Statistics Authority has rebuked the highly misleading “School Cuts” website for its use of statistics and has pointed out that school funding is at record levels nationally.

Robin has particularly welcomed the fact that some schools in Worcester received up to an 8% increase in funding such as the Lyppard Grange Primary School, Pitmaston Primary School, Red Hill CofE Primary School, Cherry Orchard Primary School and Northwick Manor Primary School.

This follows the news that the Government has delivered the first new primary school in Worcester in a generation with the opening of North Worcester Primary Academy. This expansion in much needed places follows expansions of a number of other primary schools around the city and new science labs and facilities for many of its secondary schools.

Robin said:

“These figures give the lie to Labour’s propaganda about school cuts. I know that for decades our local schools have been underfunded and I have worked tirelessly to press the case for fairer funding. I am pleased to be able to confirm that Worcester’s school budget has increased in each year since the last election but that the increase is stepping up a gear. Every school in the city stands to gain in the coming year and the whole system will benefit from a fairer budget for higher needs.”

“In my first Parliament, I won a £6.7 million boost for schools across the County of Worcestershire and a first step on the way to fairer funding. In my second, I helped to ensure that a fair national funding formula was at the heart of conservative policy and in my third I am delighted we are seeing some of the biggest increases in school funding in years. As well as delivering more money per pupil and more targeted support to higher needs pupils I am delighted that the Conservatives have invested to deliver more places, better facilities and new schools.”

“Labour’s plans to scrap Ofsted and abolish free schools such as the brilliant Aspire AP Free School in Warndon and the North Worcester Primary Academy would be a huge step backwards for Worcester. I am delighted that a Conservative Government is fighting for a strong and diverse education system with funding being levelled up for the lowest funded areas. I will keep on campaigning for fairer funding and I am glad, after some highly misleading claims from Labour to be able to set the record straight.”

ENDS

Notes to editors

For more information on the School Funding Announcement, please see:

https://www.gov.uk/government/news/schools-to-learn-funding-allocations-following-14-billion-pledge

https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/national-funding-formula-tables-for-schools-and-high-needs-2019-to-2020

https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/national-funding-formula-tables-for-schools-and-high-needs-2020-to-2021

For Robin’s Previous Statement on School Funding, please see:

https://www.walker4worcester.com/category/campaigns/fairer-funding-to-schools/

For the UK Statistics Authority’s letter on the reliability of the website “School Cuts”, please see:

https://www.statisticsauthority.gov.uk/correspondence/response-to-statements-on-cuts-to-school-funding/