* Michael Fabricant has written to Prime Minister Tony Blair today at the request of Cllr John Brooks (Labour’s Education Leader on Staffordshire County Council) asking that he meet with parents who will plea for fair funding for Staffordshire’s school children. While the national rise in education funding was 4.8% to cover teachers’ pay rises, etc, the rise in Staffordshire was only 3.9% which does not meet existing commitments.
* Yesterday, Michael Fabricant questioned David Blunkett in the Commons: the Secretary of State for Education was in the House making a Statement on Labour’s latest education initiatives. Michael Fabricant asked: "What can the Secretary of State do to make people in Staffordshire believe that anything he says now is not a promise today with no jam tomorrow? Labour promised in their 1997 Manifesto that they would increase the percentage of GDP spent on education. They have not. It is now considerably less. Promises were also made to raise education funding in Staffordshire to that of other counties within a year of a Labour Government. We still languish second from bottom". David Blunkett did not answer the question directly, but merely commented on the general position in England and Wales saying "There has been a £300 increase in per pupil funding and the commitment to increase the amount spent on Staffordshire’s schools has been met".
"I fought for equal funding for Staffordshire schools in John Major’s Government and I continue to do so now" says Michael Fabricant. "The difference is that John Major did not make promises that he did not intend to keep. The new ‘free schools’ policy of the Conservative Party where Staffordshire schools will be funded centrally is a much fairer system".