Schools Funding

Not surprisingly the subject of fair funding for our school in West Sussex has arisen again in the light of recent announcements by Government and the absence of a solution which has been disadvantaging our schoolchildren over many years. I am aware that some Head teachers have sent a letter out to parents about Fair Funding and Transitional Support and some of them have passed it on to me. Its contents will of course be a huge cause of concern for parents.

I have therefore created this special area on my website where I have posted a new podcast explaining my position on the subject and will update with news as and when. Regular readers of my newsletter or Facebook page will be aware that this is an issue I have been very actively involved with for some time, along with my fellow West Sussex MPs.

We are only too aware that after years of accumulated under funding local schools are really struggling to make ends meet and that some degree of transitional funding could be necessary to avoid possible reductions in staffing. In the event despite the strong case we made to ministers after consultation with local head teachers we were unable to achieve this in the current difficult financial climate. However the consultation took longer than anticipated and changes will not now come into force before 2018/19 which will make the situation even more dire which is why schools have been warning about more immediate consequences.

Whilst I think some of the warnings that have gone round are too alarmist and are unhelpful, clearly the situation is getting worse. It is also not helpful to claim as some have, that Government funds which could be used are being diverted to academies or the grammar school programme. Academies are funded at just the same rate as schools still run directly by West Sussex County Council whilst the Government’s recent announcement about expanding grammar schools has not even passed into legislation yet and is some years away, if at all.

As always if you have any other specific questions then please do not hesitate to get in touch and I will post any updates on my website as I have indicated.

News

Schools funding update

We all know that schools in West Sussex receive less funding than other areas in the country, which has resulted in school budgets being strained and savings having to be found. 

Teachers' Pay Review

I welcome the announcement that teachers will be receiving a very well deserved pay rise.

School places meeting at CLC

Meanwhile there was a good turnout of parents from Adur to hear from local councillors and county council education officers about the allocation of secondary school places from 2019.

School governor roundtables

Here are the minutes of the 2 roundtables which I held with chairs of governors from schools across East Worthing & Shoreham on May 17th and 25th May.

Investment in new school places

West Sussex will receive an additional £750,000 as a result of the special educational needs funding announced last week. Including the £215 funding for special educational needs announced last year, this brings West Sussex’s total new allocation to over £4,000,000.

West Sussex MPs meet new Education Secretary

Reporting back on the meeting between West Sussex MPs and the new Education Secretary, Damian Hinds, as promised, continuing the fight to secure additional funding for our schools in West Sussex.

Free School Meals

Labour are saying that we are taking Free School Meals away from a million children, this is just not true.