Throughout the last Parliament I worked alongside colleagues from West Sussex in pursuing fair funding for local schools.
The Government committed to introducing a new funding formula to replace the unfair and outdated method from well over a decade ago. With county colleagues and local schools I’ve continued to make the case for improved transitional funding in the interim, until the new fairer formula is fully implemented.
Provisionally, Crawley is the second highest gaining area out of any part of the country under the proposed new National Funding Formula. The Department for Education have stated that Crawley schools would receive an extra 8.4 per cent in funding, equivalent to £5.7 million more. Across England schools funding now stands at a record high £42 billion.
I’m of course aware of the impact of cost pressures on per pupil funding, including staff salary increases, the introduction of the National Living Wage, and increases to employers’ National Insurance and pension contributions.
At present, local authorities are responsible for deciding school funding allocations. A National Funding Formula ensures funding is linked to pupils and additional needs in a transparent way, rather than based on a historical local authority figure, and gives headteachers more certainty over future budgets. The outdated current system dates from the Blair administration and unfairly results in some pupils (such as in London) receiving almost twice as much funding as others (such as in West Sussex).
Nearly 1.8 million more pupils are being educated in good or outstanding schools since 2010.
Conservatives in Government have been able to protect the core schools budget in real terms as a result of careful management of the economy under Theresa May. The alternative is Jeremy Corbyn as Prime Minister, whose policies would crash the economy meaning there would be less money to spend on schools.