Schools consulted on extra funding boost

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Schools in Derbyshire are to be asked how a cash bonus should be spent – with the county set to receive a share of £14 million of extra funding next year.

Ministers are acting to change regulations which have meant authorities such as Derbyshire receiving less cash than their metropolitan neighbours.

Councillors successfully argued the system was unfair, stressing the county was one of the worst funded in the country.

Consultations are to be held with schools to decide how the extra funding should be allocated.

Coun Kevin Gillott, cabinet member for children and young people, welcomed the extra cash, but said it did not redress years of underfunding.

He said: “This is a significant amount of money and by letting schools know early what’s available, it will help them plan their spending.

“Schools are facing considerable financial pressures, including inflation and a rise in employers’ pension contributions, and are having to make some difficult decisions.

“This money will be useful, but our schools have been historically underfunded and this won’t redress the balance of years of unfairness.”

The council will be asking the Schools Forum – made up of headteachers and governors from schools, nurseries and special schools – for their views, as well as individual primary and secondary schools.

A report on the outcome of the consultation is due at the end of the summer term, when the authority’s cabinet will be asked to agree in principle on how the money will be allocated.

The final amount of money to be made available will not be confirmed until the end of the year.