Rebecca Pow has welcomed the Chancellor’s commitment to introduce fair school funding as part of today’s Comprehensive Spending Review. A new funding formula will set a national rate that every school will receive for each pupil, with additional funding for those with extra needs. Crucially, from 2017-18 onwards the resources schools and local authorities will receive will be based on pupil characteristics rather than historic political calculations. The Department for Education will consult on the detail of the announcement in early 2016.
The announcement signals an end to the current unfair system, which has lasted for decades and led to a situation where the ten best funded areas of England receive an average of £6,300 per pupil of schools block funding, compared to just £4,200 in the ten worst funded areas – with no objective basis for the difference.
It follows years of campaigning by the F40 Group of poorly-funded local authorities, and a concerted Parliamentary campaign to make the issue a top political priority. In October, Rebecca was one of 111 MPs who wrote to the Prime Minister to call for fairer funding to be introduced .On Tuesday 1 December, Rebecca Pow will join colleagues as petitions from over 100 constituencies calling for fair funding will be presented by MPs in the House of Commons chamber, 1387 disgruntled parents and teachers from Taunton Deane.
Speaking after the announcement, Rebecca said,
I am delighted that the Chancellor is committed introducing a fair funding formula for schools, ending this historical injustice that means pupils in Taunton Deane lose out for no good reason. I recently approached George Osbourne and explained the strength of feeling on this matter and I am pleased that he has listened, it is not right that pupils in Somerset receive on average £2000 less than then 10 best funded areas.
Graham Stuart MP, who serves as Vice Chairman of the F40 Campaign representing the worst-funded authorities, said,
“I am very grateful to Rebecca Pow who has played a big role as a Patron of the Fair School Funding Campaign. She has worked tirelessly to draw attention to the unfair funding gap and today’s announcement marks a real breakthrough.”