Evesham headteacher welcomes news of school cash boost - The Evesham Observer

Evesham headteacher welcomes news of school cash boost

Evesham Editorial 21st Jul, 2017 Updated: 21st Jul, 2017   0

A LEADING Evesham headteacher has expressed his hope that major changes to school funding will reach the schools where it is most needed.

Prince Henry’s High School chief Dr Tony Evans spoke to the Observer following the Government’s announcement on Monday that from 2018/19 minimum funding per secondary pupil will be set at £4,800 per year.

Schools in Worcestershire could be set to benefit from the announcement with average per pupil funding in the county currently £4,319.

The county’s schools have been chronically underfunded for many decades compared to other areas of the UK due to the funding formula used by the Government.

The Department of Education has promised to introduce a fairer funding formula following pressure from headteachers and MPs in Worcestershire.

Cash has been taken from elsewhere in the education budget such as a cut of £280million from the free schools budget and £315million has been slashed from the ‘healthy pupils’ project.

Ministers are expected to respond to a public consultation on the proposals in September.

Despite the announcement Dr Evans said: “It has been very well documented in the press that over the last few years schools have received significantly less funding in real terms.

“This financial pressure has also been compounded by the simple fact that schools in different areas are not funded in the same way, and hence, this is why the government is trying to introduce a National Fair Funding Formula.

“Compared to Worcestershire, schools in some parts of the country receive substantially more funding, yet broadly our costs, including staffing, textbooks, heating and electric are the same.

“Therefore, the announcement by the government on Monday evening must be seen as welcome news, but we wait cautiously to see whether this money actually reaches the schools and classrooms where it is most needed.

“However, the announcement does not address the urgent needs of post-16 funding and therefore any monetary rise for schools with Sixth Forms will not be felt across the whole school.”

Town MP Nigel Huddleston welcomed the Government’s announcement and described the extra cash as ‘fantastic’.

“As someone who represents a rural constituency and has long lobbied for a fairer funding formula for schools, I cannot overstate how important this investment will be for children in my constituency and other rural constituencies like it.

“Disparities in school funding are unfair and must be addressed and I am glad the Government has not only listened to such concerns but has also acted decisively to tackle them.

“I look forward to the release of the response to the consultation in September and also anticipate seeing the effects of the funding that has been announced today in schools across Worcestershire in the coming years.”

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