Following the shock news that despite Staffordshire being almost at the
bottom of the schools funding table with schools in Slough, for example,
receiving almost twice as much as those in Staffordshire schools and some
others in the midlands, the Schools Minister has told Michael that local
education authorities must approach the Government if they feel they are
hard done by. Michael Fabricant says: "It is imperative that Stafford now
makes out a ‘compelling case’ as the Minister puts it. Despite all the
promises by the Government, our schools remain underfunded".
Michael Fabricant asked the David Miliband, the Schools Minister:
"……how much the target transitional grant for Staffordshire local
education authority will be in the next two years; and what arrangements
have been made for the provision of the grant?"
"In short, the reply was nothing, no money at all, despite Staffordshire
being near the bottom of the payment league table." says Michael Fabricant.
But in a Parliamentary Written Reply, Mr. Miliband answered: "Details of
the transitional support package for 2004-05 and 2005-06, including the
arrangements for paying the targeted grant, will be published at the time of
the provisional Local Government Finance Settlement later this month.
"On 29 October the government published indicative figures for the targeted
grant in 2004-05, which have been placed in the Library of the House. These
assumed that grant would be available to authorities whose increase in
Education Formula Spending and relevant DfES grant between 2002-03 and
2004-05 would otherwise be less than 12 per cent. per pupil. The increase in
Staffordshire LEA is expected to be above 12 per cent. per pupil over the
relevant period, which means it would not be eligible for the targeted
"However, if Staffordshire or any other LEA is able to put forward a
compelling case that additional, transitional funds are needed in the short
term-above and beyond those already available to the LEA-my right hon.
Friend the Secretary of State will be prepared to consider bringing forward
grant payments from my department, so that the LEA will have funds available
in 2004-05 for this purpose, with the expectation of a consequential
reduction to what they will receive in future years. The maximum amount that
might be made available in this way would be a maximum of £300,000 per
authority, or 0.2 per cent. of the authority’s total education resources in
2004-05, if that is higher. For Staffordshire, 0.2 per cent. of its
education resources would be over £800,000."