The issue of school funding has been the subject of much discussion for many years. I am a Member of a Group called F40 that works to lobby Government on behalf of areas where the funding for schools has been below what they feel it should be. This group has operated for many years, lobbying Governments of all persuasions for over two decades for a fairer way of allocating school funding.

Together with other MPs we have continually pressed this Government and the previous one over this issue. Whilst some progress was made a few years ago with the Coalition Government allocating some extra money, the underlying problem remained – i.e. the existing funding model was outdated and unfair and we in Derbyshire were amongst those disadvantaged.

Consequently, both I and the rest of the F40 members were pleased when the Government decided they would look to introduce a fairer funding formula for our schools and furthermore there will be extra money available for schools, and early indications are that for the F40 members that could amount to £183 million, however there are still some concerns over how this is going to work.

I have recently met with a range of head teachers from across the constituency to listen to their concerns on potential implications of the new formula. It is very important to know that at the moment no decisions have been made, as there is a Government consultation which is open until March 22nd.

There are some figures available for High Peak schools in which it shows a funding increase for 32 of our 50 schools, 2 remain the same and 16 see a fall, but I must stress that these figures are only illustrative.  I know that the schools are keen to engage with parents on this matter but I can assure everyone concerned that I am looking carefully at this issue and, in answer to some of peoples’ concerns, I took the opportunity to raise the matter with the Prime Minister in Prime Ministers Question Time last Wednesday. I will also be meeting with the Secretary of State for Education later this month (March) to have further discussions with her.

Whilst I am pleased that the old and unfair formula is being replaced at long last, I want to make sure that under any new formula our schools in the High Peak receive their fair share of funding.

Get Involved