MP welcomes extra funding for West Sussex schools
Arundel & South Downs MP Nick Herbert has welcomed the Government’s announcement of more resources for West Sussex schools with the introduction of a new fair funding formula.
On Thursday (14 September) the Education Secretary, Justine Greening, announced the Government's final decisions on the national funding formula which will come into effect from April next year, delivering on the Conservative Party's manifesto pledge to make school funding fairer.
West Sussex will see an increase in block funding for its schools of £27.7 million by 2019/20, a rise of 6.5 per cent, compared with a proposed increase of £14.5 million in the Government’s consultation last December. There will also be an increase of £1.3 million for high needs.
In March Mr Herbert led a robust submission to the Department of Education on behalf of West Sussex MPs urging the Government to redesign the proposed formula to provide a minimum level of funding for schools.
Following this, in July the Education Secretary an extra £1.3 billion for schools, increasing the core funding from almost £41 billion this year to £43.5 billion in two years’ time. This means that per pupil funding will now be maintained in real terms for the remaining two years of the Spending Review period, as funding transitions to the new national formula.
The Government has now said that from 2019-20 all secondary schools will receive at least £4,800 per pupil overall, whilst primaries will attract at least £3,500 per pupil overall through the redesigned formula.
Next year (2018/19) West Sussex secondary schools will receive £4,756 per pupil in block funding, compared to £4,500 at present. Primary schools in the county will receive £3,677 per pupil.
Illustrative figures supplied by the Department for Education indicate that funding for schools in the Arundel & South Downs constituency will increase by 5.7 per cent.
Secondary schools will particularly benefit, with increases ranging from 5.3 per cent for the St Philip Howard Catholic School to 11.7 per cent for Downlands Community School.
Ormiston Six Villages Academy will receive a 7 per cent rise in funding, Angmering School 7.5 per cent and Steyning Grammar School 9.9 per cent.
Primary Schools in the constituency will receive increases ranging from 1 per cent to 12.4 per cent in the case of St Lawrence School in Hurstpierpoint. No primary school will lose funding, unlike in the draft proposals in December, addressing concerns raised by Mr Herbert.
The actual amounts allocated to schools will depend on decisions by West Sussex County Council. The total shortfall in funding for West Sussex schools, which have recently been facing rising costs which have outstripped annual increases in their funding, had been estimated at £48 million by the f40 campaign for fair schools funding. The Government’s announcement goes more than half way towards meeting this target.
Nick Herbert said: “I am very pleased that the Government has introduced a minimum level of school funding, as West Sussex MPs suggested, and that the new fair funding formula will mean an overall increase of nearly £29 million for schools in our county.
“We made a strong case for fair funding and this announcement goes a considerable way towards achieving it. Doubtless our schools would like to see more to enable them to meet cost pressures, but in the current fiscal climate, where other budgets have had to be cut, this is a good deal. In fact the Government will now be spending more on schools over the next two years than Labour promised at the election.”
1. To read the Government’s announcement on Thursday 14 September see https://www.gov.uk/government/news/fairer-funding-system-to-end-postcode-lottery-for-schools.
2. To read Nick Herbert’s letter in March 2017 on behalf of West Sussex MPs in response to the consultation see here.
3. To see the Government’s illustrative figures for the impact of the new formula on schools in the Arundel & South Downs constituency see the linked spreadsheet table. These demonstrate the overall impact of the introduction of the national funding formula by showing what each school would receive if the national funding formula had been implemented in full in 2017-18, with no transition. It is important to note that these are illustrative figures, and are not actual allocations for any particular year.