Alongside other colleagues from West Sussex I lobbied successfully for a new National Funding Formula (NFF) and an extra £33.5 million announced for schools in our county goes some way to make funding fairer.
Over the summer Boris Johnson declared, in addition to delivering Brexit, his commitment to uplift school funding too. In October the Government announced a new funding package which is to see a minimum of £5,000 per secondary school pupil next year, and a minimum of £4,000 by 2021-22 for each primary school pupil nationally.
This support follows the Prime Minister’s announcement in August that the budget for schools and high needs would be increased by a total of more than £14 billion over three years, rising to £52.2 billion by 2022-23.
The extra money, available from April, will ensure that per pupil funding for all schools can rise at least in line with inflation and will deliver promised gains in full for areas which have been historically under-funded.
A 5.68 per cent per pupil funding boost next year will mean that every school in West Sussex will receive a budget increase, giving teachers, parents and pupils the certainty to plan, and improving standards in our schools. Indeed, funding for Crawley schools is to rise to £82.8 million – on average £5,836 for each secondary student and £4,210 for every primary pupil.
This new funding will also target those schools who need support the most, making sure that every parent in Crawley can be sure their children are getting a world-class education.
In March 2019 I spoke in Parliament welcoming progress which is benefiting local pupils while making it clear to the School Standards Minister that there is more work to do to address the concerns of Crawley parents and teachers.
Particularly as a Vice President of the British Dyslexia Association I welcome the current expansion of Manor Green School, however further support for special educational needs and disabilities is of vital importance.
Over 9,000 more children in Crawley are now in schools rated good or outstanding, compared with 2010. Nationally, literacy levels have been rising since the introduction of the phonics screening check in 2012, meaning more children are mastering the fundamental skills they need. In 2012, 58 per cent of 6 year olds in reached the expected level in reading nationally, compared with 82 per cent in 2018.