MP’s delight at schools funding pledge

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A Northumberland MP has welcomed the Chancellor’s commitment to introduce fairer school funding as part of the recent Autumn Statement.

A new formula will set a national rate that every school will receive for each student, with additional monies for those with extra needs.

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.

Currently, 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 – including Northumberland – with no objective basis for the difference.

For example, basic yearly funding for schools in Kensington and Chelsea amounts to £5,866 per pupil, while in Northumberland it is just £4,544.

The F40 Group of poorly-funded local authorities and a number of MPs have campaigned to make the issue a top priority for Chancellor George Osborne.

Guy Opperman, MP for Hexham, said: “Following our 2010-15 campaign, we secured a £12million uplift to the fairer funding formula for our schools in Northumberland.

“This amount was, however, simply a down-payment, or a first step towards a new and fairer system for our schools.

“I am delighted that the Government has committed to introduce a national funding formula for English schools.

“It is time to end the postcode lottery that means children in places like Northumberland have lost out over decades for no good reason.”