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Jonathan Djanogly MP welcomes fair funding breakthrough in Comprehensive Spending Review

25th November 2015

Jonathan Djanogly MP has welcomed the Chancellor’s commitment to introduce fair school funding as part of today’s Comprehensive Spending Review. A new funding formula will set a national rate that every school will receive for each pupil, with additional funding for those with extra needs. Crucially, from 2017-18 onwards the resources schools and local authorities will receive will be based on pupil characteristics rather than historic political calculations. The Department for Education will consult on the detail of the announcement in early 2016.

The announcement signals an end to the current unfair system, which has lasted for decades and led to a situation where the ten best funded areas of England receive an average of £6,300 per pupil of schools block funding, compared to just £4,200 in the ten worst funded areas – with no objective basis for the difference.

It follows years of campaigning by the F40 Group of poorly-funded local authorities, and a concerted Parliamentary campaign to make the issue a top political priority. In October, Jonathan Djanogly was one of 111 MPs who wrote to the Prime Minister to call for fairer funding to be introduced, and supported colleagues in demanding action. On Tuesday 1 December petitions from over 100 constituencies, including Huntingdon, calling for fair funding will be presented by MPs in the House of Commons chamber.

Speaking after the announcement, Jonathan Djanogly said,

“I have been campaigning during all of my time as MP, against Cambridgeshire’s position at or close to the bottom of the league table regarding school funding. I have made multiple representations to the Department for Education working with local Councillors, and last year led a delegation of all the county’s Conservative MPs to lobby the Education Minister. The Minister said at that meeting, and subsequently publicly, that the system is unfair and that the funding formula would be reformed.”

“I am pleased that the Government has honoured the election pledge to make schools funding fairer. In 2015-16, an additional £390 million funding has been provided for the 69 least well-funded local authorities in the country, the biggest step toward fairer schools funding in 10 years. I welcome the fact Ministers have pledged to make this the baseline for their funding going forward, and have already done so for 2016-17.”

Graham Stuart MP, who serves as Vice Chairman of the F40 Campaign representing the worst-funded authorities, said, “I am delighted that the Government has committed to introduce a national funding formula for English schools, ending the postcode lottery that means children in Cambridgeshire lose out for no good reason. As always, the devil will lie in the detail and we will need to see the full detail of the consultation, but in principle this represents a huge step forward and is a decision of lasting significance.”

“I am very grateful to Jonathan Djanogly, who has played a big role as a Patron of the Fair School Funding Campaign. He has worked tirelessly to draw attention to the unfair funding gap and today’s announcement marks a real breakthrough.”

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