Council seeks improved school funding

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Cheshire East Councillors of all political parties have voted unanimously in favour of writing to the Department for Education, asking them to look again at the way schools are funded nationally.

Cheshire East students currently receive one of the lowest funding levels per pupil in the country.

Councillor Hilda Gaddum, Cabinet member with responsibility for children and family services, submitted a notice of motion at the recent full meeting of Council.

The letter, from all political group leaders, will:


  • Thank local MPs for bringing the issues to the Government's attention

  • Welcome the Government's commitment to review the funding system for schools

  • Support an approach which provides a fairer level of funding nationally and

  • Point out that Cheshire East receives well below the national average from the Dedicated Schools Grant, and the reasons why are not clear.


If funded at the same rate as Cheshire West, Cheshire East would receive an additional £10m of funding. Cheshire East receives £200 less per pupil in guaranteed unit funding, compared to Cheshire West.

It will also ask the Government to look at the funding arrangements for academies and the effect this has on local authority grants. The letter will state that the reduction in formula grant to reflect academy conversions is not appropriate, particularly as there is no clear basis on which such deductions have been made.

Councillor Gaddum said: "The achievement of pupils is a priority for Cheshire East but low base funding from Government is making this increasingly difficult.

"In addition, the extra money being given to academies, who predominantly have the fewest children with educational problems, exacerbates the problem.

"To have unanimous cross-party support on this is extremely encouraging and shows how important the future of our education system is to my fellow councillors.

"I hope that the Department for Education will note the contents of our letter and use it as part of their review into school funding."

 

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