Statement by West Sussex MPs on fair schools funding
tatement by The Rt Hon Nick Herbert MP, Sir Peter Bottomley MP, Tim Loughton MP, Jeremy Quin MP, Henry Smith MP, The Rt Hon Sir Nicholas Soames MP, and The Rt Hon Andrew Tyrie MP (Nick Gibb MP is unable to add his name as Minister of State for Schools):
West Sussex MPs led the fight for fair schools funding, and we have won the argument. Last month the Chancellor announced that there will be a National Funding Formula from 2017 to phase out the arbitrary and unfair school funding system.
In his statement the Chancellor commended "the many MPs ... who have campaigned for many years to see this day come”.
The Chancellor also announced that the national schools budget will be protected in real terms.
West Sussex has already received an interim payment of an extra £1 million a year ahead of the National Funding Formula, but we need to go much further than this to put our schools on an equal footing with those in other counties.
We will now be working hard to ensure that, when the Education Secretary publishes the consultation on the new National Funding Formula in the New Year, we make the strongest case to improve funding for West Sussex schools as soon as possible.
This vital change to make schools funding fair was promised in the Conservative Party’s Manifesto and has been announced within the first year of a majority Conservative Government. We are proud to have played our part in securing it.
1. West Sussex MPs met the Education Secretary, Nicky Morgan, on 15 September to press the need for fair funding (see http://www.nickherbert.com/news.php/662/west-sussex-mps-quotencouragedquot-after-schools-funding-meeting-with-education-secretary). They also raised the issue in the Commons, and directly with the Chancellor and the Prime Minister.
2. West Sussex receives the lowest funding for schools of any county and is the fourth lowest funded local authority nationally. The gap between the best and worst funded areas grew under the previous (Labour) government. The ten best funded areas receive an average of £6,297 per pupil per year, compared with an average of £4,208 in the ten worst funded areas, including West Sussex.
3. The Conservative Party's Manifesto for the 2015 election committed to "make schools funding fairer”.
4. The Chancellor’s Spending Review and Autumn Statement speech on 25 November, in which he announced the introduction of a National Funding Formula to "phase out the arbitrary and unfair school funding system that has systematically underfunded schools in whole swathes of the country”, can be found at https://www.gov.uk/government/speeches/chancellor-george-osbornes-spending-review-and-autumn-statement-2015-speech.