Published: July 5, 2012
Burnham-On-Sea's MP launches campaign for fairer school funding

Burnham-On-Sea's MP Tessa Munt will lead a delegation of representatives from the Somerset Schools Forum and other Somerset MPs to meet the Secretary of State for Education, Michael Gove, later this month.

The meeting comes after a constructive morning of discussion last week, when representatives from the Forum came to Parliament to discuss securing a fairer funding agreement for local schools in Somerset.

Tessa says that currently school funding in Somerset is ranked 133rd out of 151 local authority areas at £415 per pupil less than the England average, totalling a staggering £28.5m shortfall each year!

The MP told "Historically, Governments have used an overly simplistic formula to allocate funding for schools, but with such a diverse range of rural and urban schools, Somerset's children miss out."

"With first, infant, primary, junior, middle, secondary and upper schools to consider, and pupil numbers from 17 to nearly 1,400 pupils, it is clear that as the formula doesn't work, something has to change. We will be asking the Secretary of State to investigate negotiating enough local flexibility into the funding formula to help Somerset schools."

"As money is tight, it isn't easy to change long-standing arrangements. However, it is important that the Government recognises the unique challenges faced in rural areas. I believe Michael Gove is sympathetic to our joint aims, and I am hopeful that he can address this anomaly in future negotiations. Somerset can then get a fairer deal for its children and its schools."

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