Staffordshire education chief welcomes school funding changes

Plans to revise the way schools are funding have been welcomed by Staffordshire County Council’s education chief.

Chancellor George Osborne used his Autumn Statement to outline proposals to end the regional variations in the money schools get per pupil.

Staffordshire currently receives the 11th lowest amount of funding per pupil from across 151 authorities.

Cllr Ben Adams

Cllr Ben Adams

But Cllr Ben Adams, Cabinet member for learning and skills, said the Chancellor’s announcement would be a bonus for schools across Lichfield and Burntwood.

“As one of the lowest funded authorities in England per pupil, we welcome this commitment to address the disparities in school funding and want to thank our local MPs for helping us push this issue at a national level,” he said.

“This reform has the potential to make a significant difference to Staffordshire pupils – not only those in mainstream schools but those in the Early Years and the Special Needs parts of the system, where the effects of low funding are acutely felt.

“The inequalities in funding can only be addressed by reforming the system.”

Cllr Adams also said that the authority was looking forward to having its say on how any new system of funding would work.

“For some time we have contributed to work to address the funding issue at a national level and our schools know only too well the pressures they face in striving for excellence in a low funded environment,” he explained.

“We estimate that if we were given the same funding as Derbyshire – a statistical neighbour – we would have around £9million more for Special Education High Needs alone.

“As always, the devil will be in the detail, and we look forward to contributing to any forthcoming consultation on the issue.

“We feel it is only fair that every child in the country has the same opportunity to learn in a good school that gives them the skills needed to forge a successful career.”

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