Getting fairer funding for Wiltshire schools is something that I have been campaigning on for years. The current system is ludicrous and sees some areas receiving thousands of pounds extra per pupil than our schools receive, for no sensible reason at all. I was therefore delighted when last year the Department for Education announced that they would be making the system fairer and that Wiltshire schools would do better than most other areas of the UK.
The recent proposals do ensure that Wiltshire schools do comparatively better than other areas but I am still not satisfied with the proposed funding that our schools will receive. As this is still a consultation, I arranged for a delegation of 12 headteachers from The Chippenham constituency to meet directly with the Schools Minister, Nick Gibb, to discuss the new funding formula and make a strong case to the Government as to why Wiltshire should receive more funding.
The proposals do reduce the ludicrous funding gap but they do have some unintended consequences on some of our local schools given their unique circumstances and we believe the gap is still not reduced enough especially given the rising costs of education. The Minister was very responsive and engaging – this is very much a consultation period and he listened and took on board all comments aired. The next step is for us to prepare a further detailed analysis which the Minister requested and encourage everyone to input into the consultation. I will continue to work hard to ensure every child in my constituency gets the education they deserve and that our teachers and schools are given the adequate support and tools to achieve this.
Local residents can help us build a case. If you would like to help contribute to the consultation email me on firstname.lastname@example.org.