In a Statement to the House of Commons yesterday (17th July), the Education Secretary, Justine Greening, said that no schools will lose out as a result of the new funding formula.
Michael Fabricant says “Staffordshire has lost out over the last 30 years or more receiving less money per pupil than most other counties. This is not fair so I was pleased with what Justine Greening had to say. I am hoping for bigger than average gains for Staffordshire.”
Justine Greening said: ““No schools will lose out as a result of the formula, and we are saying that every school will gain at least 0.5% additional as part of the introduction of the school formula. It is important for me to be clear that the way we are introducing it is through working with local authorities. They therefore will put their own formula—the final allocation—to schools, but we will be very clear that what we are giving them means that no school need lose out, and in fact, further than that, every school should be able to gain.
“The additional funding I am setting out today, together with the introduction of a national funding formula, will provide schools with the investment they need to offer a world-class education to every child. There will therefore be £1.3 billion for schools and high needs across 2018-19 and 2019-20 in addition to the schools budget set at spending review 2015. This funding is across the next two years as we transition to the national funding formula.”
Later in the Statement, Michael Fabricant asked Justine Greening:
“I accept that I have been a pain to both parties over the years. I remember telling Prime Minister Tony Blair many years ago that the funding postcode lottery between counties was unfair and he agreed, but he did nothing about it.
“I was also difficult with the Schools Minister when I gave him a hard time a couple of months ago. I welcome today’s announcement, but the Secretary of State will know how much the National Union of Teachers’ website has alarmed students and parents over the past few months. When our school funding formula is announced, will it be transparent and available on a website, school by school?”
Justine Greening replied:
“Indeed it will be, and I hope that the unions will choose to update their websites with accurate data. As the questions today have demonstrated, it is not easy to introduce fairer funding. There are millions of reasons why it is a difficult step for any Government to take, but we have done it because we cannot expect social mobility or strong education outcomes everywhere when our children are funded in such different ways, purely depending on where they happen to grow up. Nobody can accept that if we want to tackle inequality of opportunity, and that is why we are taking these steps. It is complex, but we are doing it because it is the right thing to do.”