Sir Edward Garnier, MP for Harborough, Oadby and Wigston, has welcomed the Chancellor’s commitment to introduce fair school funding as part of today’s Comprehensive Spending Review. A new funding formula will set a national rate that every school will receive for each pupil, with additional funding for those with extra needs. Crucially, from 2017-18 onwards the resources schools and local authorities will receive will be based on pupil characteristics rather than historic political calculations. The Department for Education will consult on the detail of the announcement in early 2016.
The announcement signals an end to the current unfair system, which has lasted for decades and led to a situation where the ten best funded areas of England receive an average of £6,300 per pupil of schools block funding, compared to just £4,200 in the ten worst funded areas – with no objective basis for the difference.
It follows years of campaigning by the F40 Group of poorly-funded local authorities and a concerted Parliamentary campaign to make the issue a top political priority. In October, Edward Garnier was one of 111 MPs who wrote to the Prime Minister asking for fairer funding to be introduced. On Tuesday, 1 December, Edward Garnier will join 100 other MPs in presenting petitions calling for fair funding in the chamber of the House of Commons.
Speaking after the announcement, Edward Garnier said, “Leicestershire has suffered historically low funding per pupil so I am glad the Chancellor is going to do something to ensure that pupils in England get the resources they deserve”.
Graham Stuart MP, the Vice Chairman of the F40 Campaign representing the worst-funded authorities, said, “I am delighted that the Government has committed to introduce a national funding formula for English schools, ending the postcode lottery that means children in Harborough, Oadby and Wigston lose out for no good reason. As always, the devil will lie in the detail and we will need to see the full detail of the consultation, but in principle this represents a huge step forward and is a decision of lasting significance.
“I am very grateful to Edward Garnier who has played a leading role as a Patron of the Fair School Funding Campaign. He has worked tirelessly to draw attention to the unfair funding gap and today’s announcement marks a real breakthrough.”