MP welcomes 4.3% funding boost for local schools
MP James Heappey has welcomed this week's announcement of a new
National School Funding Formula which will bring fairer funding
to schools in our area.
Heappey has been campaigning on the issue since being elected last
year, arguing that the "funding bias" in favour of urban
education authorities was unfair on school children in Somerset.
In the House of Commons on Wednesday (December 14th), the Secretary
of State for Education, Justine Greening, announced the results
of the Governments consultation on school funding and with
it comes a revised formula for the allocation of the education budget.
consideration for the cost of population sparsity has led to significant
increases in funding for the Somerset Local Education Authority,
with an average increase of 4.3% in funding across the county.
After nearly two years of letters to ministers and discussions with
local head teachers and governors, Mr Heappey expressed his delight
that schools in the Wells Constituency - which includes Burnham-On-Sea
and Highbridge - would be amongst the biggest beneficiaries from
the new formula.
out of 46 schools in the constituency see their budget rise with
some of the very smallest schools seeing increases of over 20% whilst
for the secondary schools, increases of between 4 and 7% would have
meant hundreds of thousands of pounds more if the formula were to
be applied to budgets already agreed for next year. The formula
comes into effect for the 2018-19 academic year with the average
increase across the Wells Constituency being 5.1%.
After welcoming the announcement in the House of Commons, Mr Heappey
told Burnham-On-Sea.com: "This is one of the big issues in
the Wells Constituency and I am thrilled that my campaign has been
successful. There have been a lot of letters to schools, Ive
spoken about it a number of times in the House and Ministers have
been kind enough to meet with me to discuss my concerns too."
"There was something fundamentally unfair about the way that
the education of a child in Bristol or London was being funded better
than the education of child in Somerset. Deprivation and other challenges
were being funded through the Pupil Premium and so the continued
disparity in the core formula just did not stand scrutiny. The new
formula is fairer to children in rural areas and I welcome it."
"I was pleased that so many schools in the Wells Constituency
contributed to the first stage of the consultation and, like last
time, I will be writing to them all over Christmas to encourage
that they contribute further to the second stage so that we come
out of this process with the best possible deal. Todays announcement
is great news for Somerset and for the Wells Constituency in particular
but there are other parts of the country for which this formula
means less money. We know that is simply the current imbalance being
corrected but those areas will fight their corner hard and so we
must continue to do the same."
"An education in Somerset deserves the same funding as anywhere
else. Today we've gone a long way towards making sure that is the