Hereford and South Herefordshire MP Jesse Norman delivered petitions last night in Parliament from local people calling on the Government to deliver fairer funding for rural schools.
This is a result of a long running campaign by the F40 Group of poorly-funded local authorities. The campaign has already started to take effect, since the Chancellor promised to review the system of funding in his Autumn Statement delivered to the House of Commons last week.
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. From 2017-18 onwards the resources schools and local authorities will receive will be based on the characteristics and needs of pupils rather than historic political calculations.
Commenting, Jesse said:
“Having campaigned on this issue for nearly nine years, I was delighted to join my Parliamentary colleagues in delivering these petitions to Parliament.
“Some authorities and schools receive twice the level of funding as others, and Herefordshire schools are some of the worst funded in the country.
“I received a fantastic response from parents and teachers at local schools, who have long suffered from this unfair system of funding.
“We gathered nearly 1,000 signatures from people in Herefordshire, and sent a clear message to the Government that things must change.
“The Chancellor's commitment to review the funding arrangements is most welcome. But there is still a lot more work to do to make this happen. I will continue to make the case all the way through consultation to make sure that we get the best deal possible for Herefordians.”
Claire Crump, a local teacher at Blackmarston School, welcomed the announcement:
“We are delighted that Mr Norman has recognised and is bringing to the fore the issue around the considerable differences in school funding for counties such as Herefordshire.
“Our children deserve equity and the same right to an outstanding education but this requires appropriate Government funding.
“Hopefully Mr Norman’s campaign will continue to highlight the unfair disparity and result in fairer funding for the children of Herefordshire, especially the most vulnerable children of the county whose needs are met in the Special Schools but whose funding gap is in fact even wider.”