Michael Tomlinson has welcomed the Chancellor’s commitment to introduce fair school funding as part of today’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 Chancellor praised Michael saying he is a “great champion for Poole and Dorset” and that fairer funding will make a “great difference” to schools the area. 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, Michael was one of 111 MPs who wrote to the Prime Minister to call for fairer funding to be introduced, and on 5 November he demanded action in a debate on the issue in Westminster Hall. On Tuesday 1 December, Michael will join colleagues as petitions from over 100 constituencies calling for fair funding will be presented by MPs in the House of Commons chamber.
Speaking after the announcement, Michael Tomlinson said, “I am delighted that the Chancellor has listened to the concerns raised by me and my colleagues. This has been a key campaign priority for me and I am pleased that our schools will get the fair funding they deserve.”
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 Mid Dorset & North Poole 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 Michael Tomlinson, 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.”
1. Petitions calling for fair school funding signed by tens of thousands of people will be presented by MPs in the House of Commons chamber next Tuesday evening at around 7pm.
2. The F40 campaign represents a group of the lowest funded education authorities in England where government-set cash allocations for primary and secondary pupils are the lowest in the country. As the gap between the ‘haves’ and the ‘have nots’ remains and in some cases continues to widen, F40 is campaigning to change the way the government allocates funding to local authorities and schools.
The F40 campaign has support from MPs, councillors, education directors, governors, head teachers and parents. Teaching unions including the Association of School and College Leaders (ASCL) and the National Association of Head Teachers (NAHT) both support a new national funding formula.
For more information please contact Michael on 02072 195844 or email firstname.lastname@example.org