18th Nov, 2019

Must do better - Rachel Maclean takes school funding crisis to the top

Correspondent 1st Apr, 2019

TWO weeks after local headteachers joined a national campaign calling for an end to the funding crisis in education, Redditch MP Rachel Maclean has held talks with Education Secretary Damian Hinds.

The Redditch Standard highlighted how the cash crisis hitting local schools is the worst in almost 30 years.

Worcestershire has historically had low funding from the government, hundreds of pounds per pupil less than in areas like Birmingham and Coventry.

At the time Adrian Ward, headteacher at Trinity High School said: “Our slice of the funding cake is already smaller than most.

“However, despite assurances by the government to the contrary, funding per pupil has decreased by eight per cent in real terms since 2010.”

Clive Sentance, principal at Alcester Grammar School, said although the government was saying more money was going into schools, that failed to take into account the rising costs schools were facing in terms of National Insurance contributions and pensions.

In addition he said due to a spike in the population schools were facing an increase in pupil population of half a million more students without adequate funding to deal with the surge.

Mrs Maclean met with the Secretary of State last Wednesday, March 29 to press the case for fairer and more funding for schools in Redditch.

“I’m acutely aware of the pressures on school budgets here in Redditch. I meet regularly with head teachers and parents and understand the concerns on the front line. I recognise the challenges they face, despite a fairer funding formula being introduced.

“I am consistently lobbying the Treasury for a fairer funding settlement for our schools in Redditch and to end historic funding inequality, as well as for a more generous overall settlement, which is why I met with the Education Secretary to make this case.

“I look forward to the Spending Review where we can address these important concerns.”

She added the core funding underpinning the new national funding formula rose from almost £41 billion in 2017-18 to £42.4 billion in 2018-19 and will rise to £43.5 billion in 2019-20.

The fairer funding formula for schools gives an indicative additional £2 million across all Redditch schools, with no school seeing any budget reductions.

Figures taking into account increased pupil numbers and inflation show that per pupil funding nationwide has fallen 2015.

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