Sunday, 3 May 2015

Fairer funding campaign for our local schools has brought in over £12 million

I am immensely proud to have helped lead the cross party fairer funding campaign, which has changed the rules on schools funding. The new agreement secured from the Government gives a fairer funding deal for our schools. For many decades Northumberland has been one of the worst funded education authorities.  The changes we have helped secure so far will deliver an extra £12 million for Northumberland's schools.
The resulting extra funding will make a real difference. 
This additional £12 million funding this year is, however, as far I'm concerned, simply a down-payment, or a first step towards a new and fairer funding system for our schools. For far too long pupils and schools in local authorities such as Northumberland (and Devon, Worcestershire, and Derbyshire) have been the poor relations of places like Newcastle in terms of our share of education funding. The real financial pressures some of schools face is testament to the injustice that is the long standing current formula.
The truth is the Coalition Government is the first administration in the past 30 years to even acknowledge that the existing school funding formula is unfair and has been underfunding areas like Northumberland for decades. What we need an overhaul of the national funding formula, to replace the existing discredited arrangements, and that is what I am campaigning for.
Having successfully secured a rebuild of Prudhoe High School and extra investment in 
Hexham QEHS, I am now working hard to deliver investment in our other school buildings.