MP defends record on school funding - The Evesham Observer

MP defends record on school funding

Evesham Editorial 29th Sep, 2018   0

THE GOVERNMENT’S approach to fairer funding for Pershore’s schools has been backed by the town’s MP despite her admission cash-strapped county schools have had a worse deal than those in the West Midlands.

Harriett Baldwin made the comments in response to a countywide call for parents to join the bid for more cash after revealing funding per pupil had fallen by eight per cent in the past eight years.

The Observer reported last week on the national Worth Less campaign which recognises a new method for allocating Government money across the country has been a step towards a fairer system but also the gap between Worcestershire schools and those over the border in south Birmingham is still far too wide.

Pershore High School headteacher Phil Hanson was among hundreds of headteachers gathering in Downing Street yesterday to call for better investment.

In a letter to parents, Mr Hanson said: “Frequently we do not have enough money to meet the demands placed on our schools. On the ground, services and resources are cut to the bone and class sizes are increasing.

“It’s simply not good enough for the Government to state more money is spent on schools than ever before when independent evidence clearly states, in real terms, this is not the case.”

Mrs Baldwin said funding for the average primary school class of 27 pupils was £132,000 – £8,000 higher than in 2008 – and the same 27 pupils would be funded by on average £171,000 when they move to secondary school.

Next year, schools like those in Worcestershire will attract up to six per cent more funding to address some of the historical imbalances compared to schools in Birmingham, according to Mrs Baldwin.

Independent analysis by the Institute for Fiscal Studies confirms real terms per pupil funding in 2020 will be 50 per cent higher than it was in 2000.

“Nine out of ten of our local schools are rated either good or outstanding and I am glad that our amazing teachers will be getting a further 3.5 per cent pay increase – there can be no great schools without great teachers,” Mrs Baldwin added.

The West Worcestershire MP said she would press Education Secretary Damian Hinds for a fairer deal on behalf of local headteachers who have raised the issue with her.

“Parents rightly want the very best for their children’s education and our local schools are doing a great job for them,” she said.

“It’s undeniable schools in Worcestershire have had a worse deal than similar schools in the West Midlands and I support all the measures introduced by the Department of Education to fix this imbalance and make the formula fairer.”


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