Over six in 10 Devon students face funding cuts

Posted on: 10 February 2017

Nearly two thirds of Devon children face having their school’s funding cut under a new national formula, the county’s education chief has warned.

New analysis of the Government’s proposals by Devon County Council shows that 61.9 per cent of Devon pupils will be taught in schools which will lose money under the new formula.

The county council’s analysis shows that whilst many of Devon’s smaller schools may benefit from the new formula – because they would receive a bigger basic operating grant – larger primary schools and the majority of secondary schools would see their funding cut.

Devon’s schools are already funded at £290 less per pupil than the national average and Devon County Council and heads and governors have fought a long campaign for fair funding.

The previous coalition Government announced it would bring in a national funding formula for education and proposals were announced for consultation before Christmas.

But figures released by Devon County Council show that a large majority of the children in county schools would be even worse off than they are now.

Devon would get an extra £0.4 million more in education grant but this does not even cover rising costs and Devon pupils would still be funded at £268 a head less than the current national average.

That adds up to £24 million less coming to Devon schools than if they were funded at the national average.

Devon’s Cabinet member for schools, James McInnes, is lobbying the county’s MPs to ensure the Government amends the formula following the end of a national consultation on the changes in March.

He said: “Fair Funding was always about schools in Devon getting more money – not having money taken away.

“No school in Devon should lose money as a result of these proposals.

“Devon’s under-resourced schools have produced outstanding results for long enough and now deserve to be properly funded so they can give our children an even better education.

“Our MPs have already taken part in a debate in Westminster on education funding in Devon, called by East Devon MP Sir Hugo Swire, amid warnings that they will not support this formula and I intend to keep up the pressure.

“Our schools are also campaigning strongly with their own parents and asking them to lobby their constituency MPs.

“We always try to work closely with our family of schools in Devon and I am happy to endorse their campaign.”

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