MP delighted that ‘Outdated’ school funding to be overhauled

Weston-super-Mare’s MP says he ‘couldn’t be happier’ about the Government’s plans to overhaul school funding.

Weston and North Somerset schools have historically been underfunded when compared to nearby schools in Bristol and in other local authority areas across the country.

In 2014 the Mercury launched a campaign for fairer funding for schools, as the previous year North Somerset was granted £400 less per pupil than the national average.

The pupil premium – a cash grant available to schools for disadvantaged pupils – helped to even the shortfall, but the district still missed out on about £4million in funding in one year alone due to the outdated funding formula.

MP John Penrose joined the campaign and took hundreds of Mercury petition forms to Westminster demanding a new formula be implemented.

But historic reforms which will bring an end to the unfairness of the system have been outlined this week by Education Secretary Nicky Morgan.

In its report out this week, the Government labelled the previous formula ‘outdated, inefficient and unfair’ and says it hopes to implement the new formula next year.

Mr Penrose said: “For years our schools got less education cash than other places, so I couldn’t be happier that we’re killing off the old, unfair system.

“The new approach will give schools a base amount of cash per pupil, plus top-ups for children who have special needs, or live in deprived areas, plus extra for the higher costs faced by rural schools, for example, too.

“But it isn’t a done deal yet. We have to turn plans into reality so, whether you’re a parent, a teacher or a pupil, please join me in supporting these proposals in the public consultation.”

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