18 SEP 2017

CAROLINE WELCOMES FUNDING BOOST FOR LOCAL SCHOOLS

Caroline Dinenage MP has welcomed historic reforms to introduce fairer funding for schools. Indicative data released by the Minister for Schools last week suggests the new National Funding Formula would see every school in the Gosport constituency attract a funding boost, with some schools attracting up to 7.2% compared with 2017 baselines.

The reforms will help to ensure that every child has access to the high quality education that they deserve, regardless of where they live, alongside providing transparency and greater predictability. The new National Funding Formula will redress historic inequalities which have seen similar children in similar schools attract significantly different levels of funding.

The final funding formula, outlined in a statement to the House by the Secretary of State for Education, will increase the basic funding that every pupil in every school will attract. Further to this, it will:

Introduce a minimum per pupil funding level so that, under the national funding formula, all secondary schools will attract at least £4,800 per pupil in 2019-20 (£4,600 in 2018-19), and all primary schools will attract at least £3,500 in 2019-20 (£3,300 in 2018-19);Provide for a minimum cash increase in respect of every school of 0.5% per pupil in 2018-19 and 1% by 2019-20, compared to their baselines; andProvide up to 3% gains per pupil in 2018-19 and a further 3% in 2019-20 for under-funded schools.

The Government will also high needs funding, which supports our most vulnerable children, and ensure that this is distributed in line with a broad measure of deprivation to include all of those who are likely to need extra help. The £1.3 billion funding boost, announced by the Secretary of State in July, means the new Formula goes over and above the commitment that no school will lose funding as a result of the introduction of the National Funding Formula. The overall budget will now rise by around £2.6 billion in total, from almost £41 billion in 2017-18 to around £42.4 billion in 2018-19 and £43.5 billion in 2019-20.

To provide stability for schools through the transition to the National Funding Formula, each local authority will continue to set a local formula which will determine individual schools' budgets in their areas, in 2018-19 and 2019-20, in consultation with local schools. The school-level allocations from Government will therefore be used to set the total funding available for schools in each area. Hampshire County Council will continue to distribute this until 2020. However, illustrative allocations published by the Government suggest that funding across Gosport could increase by an average of 2%.

Commenting, Caroline said: 'Illustrative allocations of funding under the National Funding Formula are really good news for Gosport's schools. At the start of the year we faced the prospect of our local schools losing nearly £200k and now we can look forward to a funding boost. I lobbied Ministers to protect school funding across Gosport when the National Funding Formula was first announced, and the reformed Formula really demonstrates that Government has listened to people's concerns.'

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