Alan welcomes fair school funding breakthrough

Alan has welcomed the Chancellor’s commitment to introduce fair school funding as part of last week’s Comprehensive Spending Review.

A new funding formula will set a national rate that every school will receive for each pupil, with additional funding for those with extra needs. Crucially, from 2017-18 onwards the resources schools and local authorities will receive will be based on pupil characteristics rather than historic political calculations.

The Department for Education will consult on the detail of the announcement in early 2016. The announcement signals an end to the current unfair system, which has lasted for decades and led to a situation where the ten best funded areas of England receive an average of £6,300 per pupil of schools block funding, compared to just £4,200 in the ten worst funded areas – with no objective basis for the difference.

It follows years of campaigning by the F40 Group of poorly-funded local authorities, and a concerted Parliamentary campaign to make the issue a top political priority. In October, Sir Alan was one of 111 MPs who wrote to the Prime Minister to call for fairer funding to be introduced. On Monday 30th December, Sir Alan delivered Rutland & Melton’s petition from residents calling for fair funding, ahead of the formal presentation in the House of Commons chamber on Tuesday 1st December.

Speaking after the announcement, Alan said: ‘This is a major step forward to addressing the historic underfunding of our local schools. I was pleased to deliver Rutland & Melton’s petition, signed by dozens of teachers and parents calling for change. The campaign for a fair funding formula has been going on for many years, but this is a very significant move towards resolving the imbalance in the formula once and for all.’

Graham Stuart MP, who serves as Vice Chairman of the F40 Campaign representing the worst-funded authorities, said, “I am delighted that the Government has committed to introduce a national funding formula for English schools, ending the postcode lottery that means children in Rutland & Melton lose out for no good reason. As always, the devil will lie in the detail and we will need to see the full detail of the consultation, but in principle this represents a huge step forward and is a decision of lasting significance.

“I am very grateful to Alan, who has played a big role as a Patron of the Fair School Funding Campaign. He has worked tirelessly to draw attention to the unfair funding gap and today’s announcement marks a real breakthrough.”