City MP leads delegation's call for fairer funding

By Tim Clarke 14/03 Updated: 15/03 15:41

Buy photos » Robin Walker (far right) led a delegation of MPs in meeting with Schools Minister Nick Gibb to press the case for fairer school funding. (s).

WORCESTER MP Robin Walker has urged the Government to deliver a fairer funding deal for Worcestershire school pupils as quickly as possible.

Mr Walker led a delegation of Conservative MPs as they met with Schools Minister Nick Gibb this week to discuss a new funding formula for schools.

The nine MPs who attended the meeting came from constituencies across the country which are represented by f40, a group campaigning for fairer school funding on behalf of the country’s lowest funded local authorities.

The Government is expected to make an announcement later this month in response to a recent consultation on a new formula, which would see every pupil given a basic amount of money with extra funds allocated to account for factors such as deprivation, higher wage costs and to protect small schools.

The current formula has left Worcestershire languishing near the bottom of the funding table with pupils in the county receiving about £1,000 less per pupil than those in nearby Birmingham and £500 less than the national average.

Mr Walker said: "We do appreciate that the Government will have to limit the turbulence caused by a change in the funding formula, but we are adamant that there is a strong case for making that change and this meeting gave us the chance to make clear the urgency of that case."

"We all look forward to the announcement later this month and I am thankful that the Minister has already offered another meeting following that so that we can swiftly feed in our views on the government’s plans."

"Moving to a new formula is the right thing to do and I will keep campaigning for its rapid delivery to get a better deal for local schools.”

Mr Gibb has previously insisted the Government is committed to removing funding inequalities within the system as quickly as possible.

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