Extra cash for Devon’s schools

Children, who are unidentifiable, playing in the school play ground

Posted on: 20 September 2017

Schools across Devon stand to gain £7.5 million more from the Government’s proposed new funding formula, it has been revealed.

Education Secretary Justine Greening announced the revised formula last Thursday and accountants at County Hall in Exeter have been number crunching the figures.

Their initial calculations show that schools across the county should share in an extra £7.5 million if the formula remains as announced.

Devon County Council leader John Hart said the initial formula announced by the Government would have left two thirds of the pupils in Devon’s schools worse off.

“We campaigned strongly against the previous formula with our schools and MPs,” he said.

“And I told Justine Greening that the old formula could not stand when I met her earlier this year.

“The Government appears to have listened to our strong and united opposition to the previous formula and also to the national campaigning work we did with the f40 group, which represents the lowest funded education areas.

“There is still some way to go but I am optimistic that our schools will see significant benefits from the new formula.

“We don’t yet know what the new national average for funding for each child will be but I suspect Devon will still be below that figure and that means we will continue to campaign.

“However, taken with the extra £16 million a year we secured for our schools in 2015, this is another big step towards ensuring that education in Devon is fairly funded.

“We still have to sit down with our headteachers and governors to discuss how this extra money should be distributed.

“There is no doubt that schools in Devon are facing tough times financially. They still have to find extra money for pay rises, increased National Insurance contributions and the Apprenticeship Levy amongst other pressures.

“But I am very hopeful that this announcement will go some way to alleviating those pressures and allow our schools to continue providing the above average education and exam results they currently provide.

“The Government is also increasing our high needs budget for our most vulnerable children by £300,000.

“This is welcome but it will in no way compensate for all the extra pressures that we face in caring for our children with special education needs.”

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