'More details' sought on new cash for Vale schools, headteachers urge - The Evesham Observer

'More details' sought on new cash for Vale schools, headteachers urge

Evesham Editorial 9th Jan, 2017   0

VALE headteachers have cautiously welcomed the Government’s announcement Worcestershire schools are set to benefit from an extra £9million in funding.

The cash boost was announced by Education Secretary Justine Greening as she revealed the new national funding formula for schools which is set to be introduced in 2018/19.

Headteachers and MPs have been lobbying the Government for decades over the chronic under-funding of the county’s schools, with per pupil funding in Worcestershire £987 less compared to schools in Birmingham.

The new funding formula is set to benefit the county, on average, by a 1.7 per cent increase in funding, and some schools will benefit by as much as a 2.6 per cent increase.




Pershore High School’s headteacher, Clive Corbett, welcomed the announcement, but told the Observer schools need the extra funding now.

“It is encouraging to learn of plans to introduce a fairer funding formula from September 2018,” he said.


“I am grateful to our local MPs for their efforts on our behalf.

“However, until I see further detail I am containing my excitement. What is more pressing is the extremely difficult financial position in which Worcestershire schools find themselves in at present. It is a long time until September 2018 and some transitional relief would be gratefully received.”

A 14 week consultation has also been launched, running until March 22, so headteachers and governors can have their say on the proposals.

Dr Tony Evans, headteacher of Prince Henry’s High School, said: “We very much welcome the introduction of a National Funding Formula because it at least addresses gaps in school funding based on a postcode lottery.

“However, schools in Worcestershire have been disadvantaged for a number of years with regard to funding levels and although a typical school in Worcestershire will get an additional 2.2 per cent, there is still a long way to go before school funding in our county matches the levels seen in other parts of the country.

“We mustn’t forget funding for Sixth Form students either, which sits outside the National Funding Formula. The national base funding rate for Sixth Form students is low, and I would encourage the Government to make a significant investment in Sixth Form education, as this is an important and significant stepping stone to higher education, apprenticeships and employment.”

The extra funding was also welcomed by Evesham’s MP, Nigel Huddleston, but he hit out at critics of the proposals who claim the formula will only benefit rural areas and disadvantage cities.

“Not everyone who lives in the countryside is living in some kind of rural idyll,” Mr Huddleston said.

“There are pockets of poverty and deprivation right across our countryside and in my constituency. Investing in our children’s future based on need and fairness is absolutely the right thing.”

Pershore’s MP, Harriett Baldwin, said: “Securing fairer funding for our local schools has been my number one priority so I am pleased to see that the high-performing secondary schools are getting an uplift in their budgets. This will be a massive boost for parents and teachers.

“There is mixed news for the county’s primary schools and I will be looking at the data in more detail to understand the impact on specific schools in West Worcestershire.”

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