Letter to the Prime Minister about Fair School Funding

Yesterday a letter was delivered to the Prime Minister where I and 110 other colleagues call for fair funding for our local schools.

Click HERE to read a copy of the letter (text is below), if you have not yet signed the petition for Fair School Funding, you can do so HERE.

Michelle Donelan

Dear Prime Minister,

Fair School Funding Campaign

We write as MPs supporting the f40 group to call for urgent action to deliver fairer schools funding.

It is widely acknowledged that the existing school funding model is a muddle and that funding for individual schools with similar pupil characteristics is arbitrary and unfair. As a result, schools around the country that are similar can get very different budgets and children with the same needs can receive very different levels of financial support depending on where they go to school.

The ten best funded areas will receive an average grant of £6,297 per pupil this year, compared to an average of just £4,208 per pupil in the ten most poorly funded areas.

F40, a group made up of poorly funded local authorities, of which all the signatories to this letter are supporters, has been making the case for a fairer funding system for nearly two decades and the arguments they make for greater equity are overwhelming.

Ministers have recognised the problem and promised to address it. We welcome this, together with your confirmation that the additional £390 million awarded in 2015/16 as a “down payment” towards fairer funding will be included in the funding baseline for future years.

We are now looking to the Government to deliver a truly fair funding settlement.

At a time of spending restraint it is more important than ever that funding is allocated based on need. F40 has come up with a formula which would see the funding cake shared much more fairly. This has received a positive response from funding experts at the Department for Education.

The f40 proposals would:

  • introduce a new national formula, based on a clear rationale and geared towards improving educational standards across the country;
  • include core entitlement at a pupil level, reflecting different needs and costs at various key stages;
  • use factors to reflect pupil level needs beyond the core entitlement, including deprivation and special educational needs, and reflect the needs of small schools that are necessary in a local authority’s structure; and
  • continue to use Dedicated Schools Grant, with blocks for mainstream schools, high needs and early years. Local authorities would be free to move funding between the blocks.

We believe this formula can help deliver a solution. We want the children in our schools to continue to have a broad range of subjects to study, good resources to use, well maintained buildings, reasonably sized classes and excellent pastoral support. Fairer funding is integral to all of this, and we urge you to deliver it.

We would be grateful for the opportunity to meet you to discuss this issue.

Yours sincerely,

Michelle Donelan

And 110 others:

  1. Ben Bradshaw (Exeter)
  2. Anne Marie Morris (Newton Abbott)
  3. Jo Churchill (Bury St Edmunds)
  4. Philip Hollobone (Kettering)
  5. Graham Brady (Altrincham and Sale West)
  6. Geoffrey Cox (Torridge and West Devon)
  7. Rebecca Pow (Taunton)
  8. Karen Lumley (Redditch)
  9. Paul Farrelly (Newcastle under Lyme)
  10. Andrew Percy (Brigg and Goole)
  11. Michael Tomlinson (Mid Dorset and North Poole)
  12. David Mackintosh (Northampton South)
  13. James Cartlidge (South Suffolk)
  14. David Warburton (Somerton and Frome)
  15. Kevin Foster (Torbay)
  16. Steve Brine (Winchester)
  17. Kevin Hollinrake (Thirsk and Malton)
  18. John Howell (Henley)
  19. Marcus Fysh (Yeovil)
  20. Jonathan Djanogly (Huntingdon)
  21. Antoinette Sandbach (Eddisbury)
  22. Simon Hoare (Dorset North)
  23. Lucy Frazer (Cambridgeshire South East)
  24. Laurence Robertson (Tewkesbury)
  25. Peter Heaton-Jones (North Devon)
  26. Andrew Bingham (High Peak)
  27. Sarah Wollaston (Totnes)
  28. Gordon Henderson (Sittingbourne and Sheppey)
  29. Sir William Cash (Stone)
  30. Pauline Latham (Mid Derbyshire)
  31. Ronnie Campbell (Blyth Valley)
  32. Fiona Bruce (Congleton)
  33. Nigel Mills (Amber Valley)
  34. Helen Whateley (Faversham and Mid Kent)
  35. David Mowat (Warrington South)
  36. Rishi Sunak (Richmond Yorks)
  37. Julian Knight (Solihull)
  38. Heidi Allen (Cambridgeshire South)
  39. James Heappey (Wells)
  40. Victoria Prentis (North Oxfordshire)
  41. Andrew Griffiths (Burton upon Trent)
  42. Andrew Bridgen (North West Leicestershire)
  43. Alex Chalk (Cheltenham)
  44. Cheryl Gillan (Chesham and Amersham)
  45. John Bercow (Buckingham)
  46. Dominic Grieve (Beaconsfield)
  47. Michael Fabricant (Lichfield)
  48. Caroline Spelman (Meriden)
  49. Yvonne Fovargue (Makerfield)
  50. Kate Green (Stretford and Urmston)
  51. Julian Sturdy (York Outer)
  52. Matt Warman (Boston and Skegness)
  53. David Tredinnick (Bosworth)
  54. Robert Jenrick (Newark)
  55. Bill Wiggin (North Herefordshire)
  56. Steve Baker (Wycombe)
  57. Jesse Norman (Hereford and South Herefordshire)
  58. Geoffrey Clifton-Brown (The Cotswolds)
  59. Alan Mak (Havant)
  60. Sir Roger Gale (Thanet North)
  61. Richard Graham (Gloucester)
  62. Ranil Jayawardena (North East Hampshire)
  63. Ian Liddell-Grainger (Bridgwater and West Somerset)
  64. Daniel Zeichner (Cambridge)
  65. Andrew Smith (Oxford East)
  66. Peter Aldous (Waveney)
  67. Christopher Pincher (Tamworth)
  68. Nigel Huddleston (Mid Worcestershire)
  69. Victoria Atkins (Louth and Horncastle)
  70. Sir Alan Duncan (Rutland and Melton)
  71. Richard Drax (Dorset South)
  72. Anne-Marie Trevelyan (Berwick upon Tweed)
  73. Nick Herbert (Arundel and South Downs)
  74. Sir Peter Bottomley (Worthing West)
  75. James Gray (Wiltshire North)
  76. Graham Stuart (Beverley and Holderness)
  77. Sheryll Murray (South East Cornwall)
  78. Sir Edward Garnier (Market Harborough)
  79. Chris Heaton-Harris (Daventry)
  80. Mark Pawsey (Rugby)
  81. Rosie Cooper (West Lancashire)
  82. Daniel Poulter (Central Suffolk and Ipswich North)
  83. Mark Garnier (Wyre Forest)
  84. Sir Nicholas Soames (Mid Sussex)
  85. Tim Loughton (Worthing East and Shoreham)
  86. Jeremy Quin (Horsham)
  87. Amanda Milling (Cannock Chase)
  88. Ed Argar (Charnwood)
  89. John Glen (Salisbury)
  90. David Davis (Haltemprice and Howden)
  91. Neil Carmichael (Stroud)
  92. Gavin Shuker (Luton South)
  93. Ann Coffey (Stockport)
  94. Steve Double (St Austell and Newquay)
  95. Scott Mann (North Cornwall)
  96. Kelvin Hopkins (Luton North)
  97. Jeremy Lefroy (Stafford)
  98. Daniel Kawczynski (Shrewsbury and Atcham)
  99. Rachael Maskell (York Central)
  100. Caroline Nokes (Romsey and Southampton North)
  101. David Rutley (Macclesfield)
  102. Neil Parish (Tiverton and Honiton)
  103. Craig Mackinlay (South Thanet)
  104. Caroline Ansell (Eastbourne)
  105. Tom Pursglove (Corby and East Northamptonshire)
  106. Mary Robinson (Cheadle)
  107. Nadine Dorries (Mid Bedfordshire)
  108. Natascha Engel (North East Derbyshire)
  109. Helen Grant (Maidstone)
  110. Damian Green (Ashford)