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Cash boost for schools is ‘not enough’

PUBLISHED: 06:21 21 August 2014

Archant

East Devon schools will receive a 16.7 million cash injection as part of a government initiative but local and national lobbyists say more is needed.

The area has been consistently one of the worst funded in the whole country receiving £500 less than other students. The latest boost amounts to a 4.7 per cent increase per pupil.

Paul Walker head teacher of Sidmouth Primary School said: “It is a fantastic result; this is the first time something has happened. But we need more money in Devon for our children, 16.7 million is great but it is not enough.”

Mr Walker estimates that the county needs £41 million to support all services. The head teacher sits on the Devon Association of Primary Headteachers (DAPH) and they have pinpointed that Key Stage Four needed more finance, with the additional resources children in years 10 and 11 will have more spent on them.

“All schools live to their means, the budget we get we spend. But we have to be fair to all of Devon’s children.” He said.

Currently the DAPH and National Primary Head Teachers Association use a specialist formula to work out how much each school receives based on size and the number of pupils that require extra help such as SEN.

Many schools have had to rely on the Minimum Financial Grant in the past to cope with their small resources. The government have proposed to create a national formula and with that Mr Walker fears that grant that has been a crutch for schools may disappear.

In March this year the Education Minister David Laws said that Devon would be in line to receive more funding and MP Hugo Swire welcomes the cash boost.

Mr Swire said: “It means our schools will get the resources they are entitled to and will help improve the quality of education for all children in East Devon.”

“This new money is part of our long-term economic plan to help all young people to have the best schools and skills so that they can succeed in life.”

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