Addressing school funding

It is understandable that Brexit remains the source of much focus in Parliament. However, over this last week I have raised a number of other issues in the House of Commons, including protections for our children online, the need for Crawley Borough Council to do more to ensure the cleanliness of our local community, and highlighting the work of Crawley Town FC to tackle discrimination in football.

Additionally, at Prime Minister’s Questions last week I said to Theresa May that our contributions to the EU, which will continue as exit day is delayed, would be better spent on priorities such as funding for our schools.

This is an issue I continue to pursue. Total funding for schools in West Sussex is going up by more than £33 million this year, and the Department for Education are funding the additional cost of the pay award for teachers, over and above the amount schools had already been allocated.

While compared to other nations the UK is a high spender on state primary and secondary education I continue to highlight the financial constraints felt by our schools; issues I have continued to raise in Parliament and directly with ministers.

A particular point I am raising is on support for pupils with special educational needs and disabilities. We are seeing more provision for local pupils with Manor Green School to be expanded later in the year, and as a Vice President of the British Dyslexia Association I will continue to highlight the salience of such investment.

We are seeing funding in West Sussex increase by over £200 for each pupil; a 4.9 per cent increase on 2017-18 and indeed higher than the national average.

The historical underfunding of our schools under the Blair and Brown years is being addressed. We must not rest in our representations with the Government to ensure that we give our young people the best chance in life, and that teaching staff have the backing and resources to do so.

Henry Smith MP