5th Dec, 2016

Vale schools hope for funding review

Joshua Godfrey 13th Mar, 2016 Updated: 20th Oct, 2016

A NEW FUNDING formula for schools across the country has been welcomed by Evesham and Pershore’s MPs.

Nigel Huddleston and Harriett Baldwin backed the decision by the Education Secretary Nicky Morgan to scrap the current system which has disadvantaged Vale pupils for decades.

The Government has now launched a consultation on the new funding system and schools are being urged to have their say to make sure they get the best deal possible from the new formula.

A new formula will be introduced from 2017 and Mr Huddleston said he hoped it would bring to an end the £900 per-pupil funding gap between Worcestershire schools and those in Birmingham.

“Funding should be fair for all parts of the country: rural and urban, shire and metropolitan, north and south,” he said.

“Worcestershire has languished near the bottom of funding league tables for many years and the county has seen a growing gap between its funding and that of neighbouring areas.

“It is simply not possible to justify the £900 per-pupil funding gap between Worcestershire schools and those in neighbouring Birmingham,” Mr Huddlestson added.

Pershore’s MP Harriett Baldwin hailed the news as the ‘first step towards getting a better deal for local schools’.

“Local schools are doing an amazing job with nine out of ten secondary schools rated as good or excellent,” she added.

“Budgeting is a significant challenge for local headteachers and I hope that from next year, their task will be a little easier, but certainly fairer.”

Prince Henry’s High School headteacher Dr Tony Evans told the Observer the announcement of a new formula was ‘much-needed’.

“We obviously need to see the final details, but hopefully the funding formula will ensure that children who are living in one area are not disadvantaged when compared to their peers living in other parts of the country,” he said.

“The senior leaders and governors at Prince Henry’s have been campaigning at both local and central Government level for some time with regard to the funding issues that have affected many Worcestershire schools.”