Following a number of requests from Staffordshire headteachers as to what
the Government’s recent announcement on school funding allocations means for
local schools, Michael Fabricant is seeking clarification from the Deputy
Prime Minister, John Prescott. "Staffordshire primary and secondary
schools have received far less money per pupil in the past than those in
other counties", says Michael Fabricant. "The Government now claims that
their new funding formula will be based on need rather than historical
spending patterns. I hope they are to be believed. But because the new
formula has done away with the old system of ‘standard spending assessments’
(SSA) no-one can yet say how Staffordshire will fair compared with other
local education authorities (LEA) in England and Wales.
"I have now tabled Parliamentary Written Questions to the Deputy Prime
Minister asking him to publish a clear table showing how much has been
allocated to each primary school child and also to each secondary school
student, for each LEA using the ‘formula spending shares’ which has replaced
the old SSA. This will be for the financial year beginning in April 2003.
I have also asked for information to be made available for any subsequent
years to which the figures apply.
"There really is a load of old gobbledegook surrounding this! Some would
say that the new system has been made deliberately opaque so no-one will
"Back in 1997, Labour candidates in Staffordshire promised that by 1998
Staffordshire would receive the same share-out as every other county. This
just didn’t happen. I hope that when the table is published, the new
situation will become clear" adds Mr Fabricant. "Staffordshire’s school
children deserve as much as those in other parts of the country".
The information is now expected to be made available to Michael Fabricant by
the Office of the Deputy Prime Minister in mid January.