Increased school funding welcome but Government needs to do more, says Weston MP

Weston-super-Mare MP John Penrose has welcomed Government moves to increase pupil funding across North Somerset schools which return back from their summer holidays today, but has warned that they have to do “a lot more until our children get a fair deal”…

John Penrose has been calling for the Government to end the postcode lottery and increase funding for children in North Somerset so that they receive the same funding as their peers in Bath and North East Somerset and Bristol. After strong lobbying of the Government, including presenting a 600-name petition to 10 Downing Street, North Somerset Schools will receive £3,895 per pupil this year, an increase of 3.7 per cent on last year’s £3,757.

But the Weston MP has criticised the Government for not going far enough as North Somerset schools will still be receiving £138 less per pupil than schools in neighbouring Bath and North East Somerset, and £641 less than Bristol. School pupils in Weston and the villages remain some of the worst funded in the country with North Somerset ranked 135th out of 149 local education authorities.

John Penrose said: “The Government needs to end the postcode lottery formula that they’ve set up to give all children, no matter where they live, a fair deal.

“I’m delighted that the Government has increased education funding this year, but they haven’t gone far enough to solve North Somerset’s problems. Despite our schools receiving noticeably less per pupil than schools in neighbouring authorities, our increase in funding was on average the same as every other authority across the country. As we’ve started from much lower we should be receiving above the national average to get us back up to speed.

“I will be urging the Government to reconsider their decision as no matter where they live, children with the same needs should have access to the same level of teachers’ attention, activities and equipment. Children, Parents and teachers in North Somerset want and deserve a fairer funding deal so its time the Government acted.”

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