Michael Fabricant welcomed the consultation announced today (7th March) which could, at long last, address the unfairness of funding between schools in Staffordshire and those in other parts of the country.
In the House of Commons today (7th March), Michael reminded the Education Secretary of State that this has been a “long open wound”:
Michael said: “When I was sitting over there on the Opposition Benches I asked Prime Minister Tony Blair what he was going to do about Staffordshire education funding, which was always in the bottom 20 for funding compared with other local education authorities. He agreed with me and said it was very unfair, and then he did nothing. May I commend the Secretary of State for getting on with this wonderful consultation? What recommendation would she give to my constituents, teachers and parents, to ensure that we get fairer funding for schools in Staffordshire?”
Secretary of State, Nicky Morgan answered: “I thank my hon. Friend very much, and I am delighted that we are making progress on this important issue. Is it not typical that it takes a majority Conservative Government to do that? I urge my hon. Friend to encourage his constituents and schools in his constituency, such as John Taylor High School, which I recently had the pleasure of visiting, to ensure that they take part in this important consultation.”
Michael now says “We will only have ourselves to blame if we do not respond to the consultation. I urge everyone in Staffordshire to respond to the consultation to be found at https://consult.education.gov.uk/ – particularly schools and parents.
“The long open wound where schools in Hertfordshire and other counties receive more funding per pupil than schools in Staffordshire can finally be healed. Geographical location and historical payments should not be a factor; funding should be needs based. At long last, we now have an opportunity to right this wrong.”
The Secretary of State, Nicky Morgan (who recently visited John Taylor High School in Barton under Needwood) adds: “We want every school in England, including in Staffordshire, to get the funding it deserves, so that all children – whatever their background and wherever they live in the country – get a great education.
“The introduction of a national funding formula from 2017-18 will see the biggest step towards fairer funding in over a decade – ensuring that pupils get funding that genuinely matches their need. It will also ensure that pupils from disadvantaged backgrounds continue to receive significant additional funding to overcome entrenched barriers to their success.
“This is a key part of our core mission to extend opportunity to all children and provide educational excellence in all parts of the country: rural and urban, shire and metropolitan, north and south.”