SCHOOLS FUNDING FORMULA – MP QUIZZES GOVERNMENT
Dulwich and West Norwood Labour MP Helen Hayes has quizzed the Government in the Commons over the schools funding formula.
Helen Hayes asked David Gauke, chief secretary to the Treasury, what discussions he has had with the Secretary of State for Education to ensure the protection of money following each child under the proposed new schools funding formula.
Responding, Mr Gauke said: “The Government are protecting the total core schools budget in real terms. “That is possible only through careful management of the economy.
“As a result, school funding is at its highest ever level, at almost £41 billion in 2017-18. “Spending will increase to £42 billion in 2019-20 as pupils numbers rise. “We are also delivering our manifesto commitment to implement fairer schools funding.
“The recent national funding formula consultation includes generous transitional protections for schools that would see a reduction in their funding. “The Government are carefully considering replies to the consultation and will respond in the summer.”
In reply Helen Hayes told Mr Gauke: “The 2015 Conservative manifesto promised that ‘the amount of money following your child into school will be protected’.
“But the National Audit Office found that schools face a real-terms cut of eight per cent per pupil by 2019-20, even before the cuts the new national funding formula will bring to more than 9,000 schools in England.
“Will the Government therefore confirm that the Tory manifesto pledge on per pupil funding is now in tatters?
David Gauke: “Not at all. “We are protecting the total schools budget in real terms and implementing our manifesto commitment to introduce fairer funding. “It is right that we do so.”
PAXTON PRIMARY THORNTON HEATH IN PORTAKABINS
Croydon North Labour MP Steve Reed has highlighted the case of a primary school spending its third year in portakabins during questions in the House of Commons.
Steve Reed Shadow Minister (Culture, Media and Sport) (Civil Society): “How will the new national funding formula help students at Paxton primary academy in Thornton Heath, which is now in its third year in portakabins piled up in the back yard of a rugby club?
“Because work still has not started on its permanent school, it is now looking at its fourth, and possibly even fifth, year in portakabins. “It is unacceptable that this should continue. “Will the Ministermeet me and parents to discuss how to resolve the situation?
Responding, Nick Gibb, Minister of State (Department for Education) said: “Yes, I am happy to meet the hon. Gentleman. “Ninety-six per cent. of schools in temporary accommodation have a permanent site, and in the vast majority of cases they are on temporary sites for just one year. “These are exceptional circumstances where it is more than four years.”
(Source:TheyWorkForYou.com / Hansard) (Editor’s note: Paxton primary Thornton heath does not appear from its website to be connected with Paxton primary school Crystal Palace – Ed.)