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East Devon MP: School funding proposals ‘clearly neither fair nor acceptable’

PUBLISHED: 14:15 09 February 2017 | UPDATED: 09:26 10 February 2017

East Devon MP Hugo Swire at the King's School in 2015. Ref sho 7109-48-15SH. Picture: Simon Horn

East Devon MP Hugo Swire at the King's School in 2015. Ref sho 7109-48-15SH. Picture: Simon Horn

Archant

It is ‘clearly neither fair nor acceptable’ that a shake-up of the national funding formula will see 20 East Devon primary schools lose out, according to the constituency’s MP.

Speaking at a House of Commons debate, Sir Hugo Swire again called for the chance to hammer the message home to Whitehall chiefs – but was told Devon is losing out due to its lack of deprivation.

Many headteachers have spoken out against the new formula, which will cost some schools more than £100,000.

Sir Hugo said: “If these proposals are adopted, the historically underfunded constituency of East Devon will have 15 primary schools that gain while 20 lose out, and all our secondary schools will lose out.

“That is clearly neither fair nor acceptable.

“Will the Secretary of State agree to meet me and other Devon MPs so that we can make our point yet again?”

Education minister Nick Gibb said Secretary of State Justine Greening would indeed be willing to meet them.

He said: “Whenever we introduce a new national formula and illustrate it on the basis of the current year’s figures—in this case, 2016-17—some schools will inevitably gain and others will lose.

“Overall, 54 per cent of schools across the country will gain under the new national funding formula.”

He added: “The new funding formula attaches a higher value to deprivation than Devon’s local formula – so schools in Devon with a low proportion of pupils from a disadvantaged background or with low prior attainment do less well under the national formula.”

The consultation on the proposals has been extended by two weeks to March 22.

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