The power of political perseverance

If at first you don’t succeed, then in politics you really must, try, try and try again. This is something I learnt recently as, after nearly a quarter of a century campaigning, the Government has taken a big first step forwards ending the unfair funding system in place for schools.

The MP for Worcester, Robin Walker, has also done a lot of work on this. I was delighted that in a debate on this subject earlier this week, and in response to my concerns about school funding in Evesham, Robin praised Evesham resident Helen Donovan. Helen has also been fighting robustly for better funding for schools and her representations have really made a difference.

Schools in Worcestershire have been underfunded for too long because of an unfair funding system that successive Governments have used to allocate money to schools.

But finally a government has listened. The schools minister announced last month that extra cash will go to the most poorly funded areas. This includes five million pounds for schools in Worcestershire.

This extra money is very welcome. In the past, Worcestershire’s schools have had much less money per pupil compared with pupils in, say, Birmingham. All children are equal and so it is only right that they have the same amount spent on their education.

Even though the Government is taking useful steps forward, there are some areas that haven’t benefitted from extra Government money like Worcestershire. I want to see all poorly funded areas given additional funding. The Government’s announcement is also only a beginning. We need to get a fair system in place permanently which means that Worcestershire pupils won’t ever again have to miss out on funding just because they live in this county.

Although there is still much work to be done, the progress we have made recently definitely proves the power of political perseverance!

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