The Government has published its fair funding proposals through a national funding formula, due to be introduced from 2018 to 2019. It is argued that because of these changes more than 10,000 schools will gain funding, including more than 3,000 receiving an increase of more than 5% by 2020. The proposed reforms are supposed to bring an end to historical unfairness and underfunding for certain schools, levelling the playing field and giving parents the confidence that every child will have an equal opportunity to reach their full potential.
However, this is not the case in many rural areas, especially in schools across Eddisbury. Over the past two years I have been campaigning hard to ensure that schools across Cheshire get access to the funding that they rightly deserve. In November 2015, I presented a petition from parents and teachers to the Government calling for the adoption of a funding formula.
During Prime Minister’s Questions on 11th January 2017, I raised with the Prime Minister the discrepancies within the initial proposed formula and called on her to address these to ensure that children across Cheshire get the same funding as others.
In addition to this, alongside colleagues I have met with the Secretary of State for Education to present the specific concerns relating to the North West and I have discussed the provisions across Cheshire East and Cheshire West and Chester directly with the Minister for Schools.
I also arranged for the Director of Education at Cheshire West and Chester Council, local councils along with one primary school headteacher and one secondary school headteacher to attend a meeting with the Minister so they could speak up and raise concerns around the impact the formula is going to have on the area.
Throughout the campaign I have been in contact with all headteachers, both primary and secondary, across the constituency to alert them to the consultations being ran by the Government and encouraging them to respond.
Rest assured, I will continue to work closely with the councils, headteachers and parents to ensure that schools across Eddisbury get access to the best possible level of funding so that every pupil has an equal opportunity to reach their full potential.