Education Funding

Education funding in Worcestershire has been a hot topic for all my time as a local MP.

For years Worcestershire schools have received an unfair proportion of national funding for their pupils. The other county MPs and I have worked hard and will continue to fight to ensure that children in Worcestershire receive the same funding as their counterparts in places such as Birmingham.

However, the Government has now announced that a new local funding arrangement will be introduced. It doesnít change how much we receive in total as a county, just how itís distributed within the county.

It should have been a welcome step as everyone agrees that the current formula which sets out how the county council distributes the cash for education in Worcestershire is complex and confusing. The council has done its best to interpret these new rules in the least disruptive way. Worryingly, though, the new arrangement means some parts of the county will be big losers, including the Vale of Evesham.

The figures that schools have seen so far do not include the additional money that comes from the Pupil Premium or the recognition of the cost of teaching pupils with more demanding needs. However, itís true that the already underfunded schools of the Evesham area would lose £1.3 million a year from April 2015 if we donít get things changed.

Parents are rightly very worried about what this will mean for our local village schools but there is no need to panic. As the minimum funding guarantee will be in place for another three years, our local schools are not going to be under any significant financial pressure for now. There is still time for us to act and Michael Gove the Secretary of State for Education, has given me a personal assurance the problem will be solved.


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