Neil O’Brien, MP for Harborough, Oadby and Wigston has welcomed new statistics showing that school funding in the Harborough constituency will grow nearly twice as fast as the national average over the next two years - and written to the new Education Secretary Damian Hinds to press the government to sustain funding growth for schools in the next spending review, expected next year.
Until this year, identical schools in different local authorities have been funded at different rates depending purely on historical spending patterns. However, as a result of the government’s new National Funding Formula, from this year onwards funding will be based on a simple formula which takes into account the costs of running a school in different areas and pupils’ level of deprivation.
This will mean faster growth for an area like Harborough which has been disadvantaged by the historic system.
According to a new Parliamentary Written Answer received by Mr O’Brien, funding per pupil in the Harborough constituency will rise from over two years from £3,983 per pupil in 2017/18 to £4,215 by 2019/20. This represents a 5.8% increase across the constituency, nearly twice the 3.1% increase planned across England as a whole. Funding for the years after 2020 will be decided in the next Spending Review, expected to start next year.
Neil O’Brien MP said:
“I very much welcome the increase in funding for the very good schools we have across the constituency. Since my election, I’ve been fortunate to visit a number of Harborough schools already and the quality of education and dedication of teachers has been incredibly impressive.”
“Our schools have done a good job even though they have been funded at an unfairly low rate compared to places like London. Now the new funding formula will see our schools funding growing nearly twice as fast as the national average and we will start to catch up to a fairer level of funding.”
“I’d like to pay tribute in particular to the teachers and other hardworking members of staff I’ve met; whose commitment, dedication and professionalism has been second to none. Through them, I am aware of the challenges and pressures that teachers face, and trust that this additional funding will aide them in their crucial work.”
“I look forward to visiting other schools across the constituency in months and years to come, and will continue to make representations to Ministers to ensure our schools receive the funding they deserve.”
In a letter to new Education Secretary Damian Hinds Mr O’Brien wrote:
“I strongly welcome the introduction of the new National Funding Formula and the way in which your predecessor found the extra £1.3 billion of resources to support its introduction over the next two years. I hope that when the next spending review gets underway you will be successful in making the case for the resources to support full further progress on the National Funding Formula after 2020.”