Tessa led a group of Somerset MPs (David Laws MP and Jeremy Browne MP) and members of the Somerset Schools Forum in lobbying Michael Gove, Secretary of State for Education, for fairer funding for our local schools.
At a meeting last week, Michael Gove accepted that the national funding formula did not reflect the particular needs of rural areas like Somerset and said that in a different financial environment, the formula’s failings would need to be sorted out. Here we have several types of schools – primary, junior, first, middle, secondary, upper – according to the size of our communities and the pattern of provision for local children, and many small village schools.
However, at a time of austerity when there is no extra money to increase the budget for Somerset to remove the funding anomalies, Michael Gove stressed that he could not address the fundamental flaws in the formula at this time. When the economic situation became easier, he hoped to correct the formula to bring areas like Somerset up to the funding levels enjoyed by more fortunate areas of the country.