Schools across Worcestershire get £1.8m funding boost from the Government

Schools across Worcestershire get £1.8m funding boost from the Government

Schools across Worcestershire get £1.8m funding boost from the Government

First published in News Evesham Journal: Tom Edwards by , Political Reporter

SCHOOLS across Worcestershire are being handed an extra £1.8 million from the Government.

Your Worcester News can reveal how the county is one of the country's big winners from a new £40 million bonanza designed to help the worst-funded education authorities.

Back in March schools minister David Laws unveiled a £350 million package to ease disquiet around unfairness in the funding system, of which Worcestershire was promised £4.9 million.

Mr Laws has now revealed that the Coalition's fund is being increased to £390 million, with the county's award rising 32 per cent to £6.7 million.

The money, which is being sent to Worcestershire County Council in April 2015, comes after years of campaigning from parents, schools and MPs, who set a lobbying group called the f40.

It means Worcestershire's total school funding from 2015 will be just over £298 million, around £100 extra for each pupil because of the £6.7 million lift.

For decades Worcestershire has languished near the bottom of the country’s school funding league table and stands 145th out of 151.

Worcester MP Robin Walker said: "This is very reassuring news, especially as it comes just after we've got a new education secretary.

"I would have been surprised if the policy was changed as Nicky Morgan's constituency (the new education secretary) is in Leicestershire, which is part of the f40 group and rock bottom in terms of funding.

"This shows we were entirely right to keep on making a fuss about it, I wrote to David Laws and have continued to ask questions.

"I recognise this isn't the whole solution, heads will always want more and I agree with them on that, but it's another notch forward."

All but six areas outside the f40 campaign group, the 40 worst funded education authorities, will not get any extra cash, with the £350 million aimed at boosting only those at the end of the food chain.

Of the 46 counties to secure extra amounts Worcestershire was joint 17th.

Mr Laws said: "This £390 million boost - £40 million more than was announced in March - is the biggest step toward fairer schools funding in a decade, and will go a long way to removing the historic unfairness of the funding system."

The £6.7 million will be put through an in-house funding formula at County Hall and handed out to secondaries and primaries.

At the moment pupils in Worcestershire get an average of £5,100 per head, £1,333 below those in Birmingham.

Worcestershire has 197 maintained schools and 43 academies.

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