School Funding – Meeting with the Minister

I met today in Westminster with the Minister for Schools, Nick Gibb MP with the Headteacher of Southwell Minster School, Matthew Parris and the Director of the Torch Academy Gateway Trust which represents Toot Hill School, the Newark Academy and (from September) the Newark Free School.
The consultation has now ended the Minister will be considering the views he’s heard at meeting like ours and the many submissions received.
I campaigned for a fairer, national funding formula to replace the present formula which allows wild disparities between some urban areas and counties like ours. The county of Nottinghamshire benefits overall from the first draft formula (0.8% increase p.a.) and some schools with higher levels of deprivation and lower historic attainment, such as Newark’s Magnus would see large increases in funding – up to 9% p.a. Some others, where there is less deprivation and good attainment, see decreases. I support the emphasis on areas of deprivation and where schools havent been performing so highly – that’s social justice – but there is a legitimate concern that some schools would be being asked to continue providing a good education on a very tight budget. It may be that the next version of the formula needs to create a fair floor (a base level of per pupil funding) and that would help those schools in our area who find their present funding challenging. I think the Minister heard this and we will await the government’s response.
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