Local MP Tessa is calling on Government ministers to bring forward reforms to the way schools are funded as soon as possible. Under the current system used by the Department for Education, some local authorities miss out on millions of pounds each year. Somerset is among the worst affected, receiving the nineteenth lowest level of funding for schools in England.
Earlier this year the Government committed to amending the ‘funding formula’ by 2015-16. Tessa however wasn’t satisfied with this and with other Lib Dem Parliamentary colleagues, submitted a letter urging Education Secretary, Michael Gove, to bring in changes before the end of this Parliament.
Commenting, Tessa said: “The present funding system is flawed and Somerset is unfairly a victim of its inadequacies. These tougher economic times mean our local schools are already facing real financial challenges. We need action, it’s not good enough for this situation to continue for the rest of this Parliament.”
“The Coalition Government has already made good progress towards correcting this unfairness, but I want to see the Education Secretary to acting now to ensure our local schools get the funding support they deserve.”
7th November 2013
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.
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Local MP Tessa Munt will lead a delegation of representatives from the Somerset Schools Forum and other Somerset MPs to meet the Secretary of State for Education, Michael Gove, later this month. Read the rest of this entry »