School Funding

With West Sussex MP colleagues 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.

Under the NFF on average Crawley schools are set to receive around a 10 per cent increase in funding, however this is an issue I am continuing to pursue because I believe local schools deserve more, especially for special needs support. The old system dates from the Blair administration and unfairly resulted in some pupils (such as in London) receiving almost twice as much funding as others (such as in West Sussex).

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.

I welcome the new Prime Minister, Boris Johnson’s commitment of at least £5,000 for every secondary school student nationally (£4,000 per primary pupil).

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.


Crawley MP champions local schools in Parliament

Henry Smith MP has spoken out against the historical underfunding of local schools and has called on the Government to do more to ensure the concerns highlighted by local parents and teachers are better addressed.