South Yorkshire MP calls for fairer funding as many schools face budget cuts

Angela Smith, Penistone and Stocksbridge MP
Angela Smith, Penistone and Stocksbridge MP
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A South Yorkshire MP has called for fairer funding across all schools in the region.

Under the Government's new funding formula primary and secondary schools across the city would lose or gain funding.

Many people have raised concerns that most schools would see their budgets cut.

Unions are calling on the Government to take immediate action to inject much-needed money into an already beleaguered system and protect children’s education.

Angela Smith, MP for Penistone and Stocksbridge, said under the plans Penistone Grammar would see its budget increased.

But she warned that the plans only allow for 'very modest increases' in the first two years with no guarantee that the school would receive the remainder of the funding.

The Labour MP said: "In principle, it makes perfect sense to standardize the basic funding each school receives per pupil and end the so-called ‘postcode lottery’ of school budgets.

"Penistone Grammar School gets a particularly poor deal under the current arrangements, and currently receives one of the lowest basic rates of funding amongst secondary schools in the UK."

She added: "Ultimately, whilst it is important that funding apportioned to schools is distributed in a more uniform way, school funding will only be truly fair when they are provided with enough money to properly fund the incredibly important role they undertake.

"That is why I am calling for increased investment in education for the benefit of all our futures.”

The Government consultation on the new funding formula closed on March 22.

A Department for Education spokesman said school funding was at its highest level on record, at more than £40bn in 2016-17.

He added: "But the system for distributing that funding across the country is unfair, opaque and outdated.

“We are going to end the historic post code lottery in school funding and under the proposed national schools funding formula, more than half of England’s schools will receive a cash boost. Significant protections have also been built into the formula so that no school will face a reduction of more than more than 1.5 per cent per pupil per year or three per cent per pupil overall.

“We recognise that schools are facing cost pressures, which is why we will continue to provide support to help them use their funding in cost effective ways, including improving the way they buy goods and services so they get the best possible value.”

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