Schools' £10m funding boost

November 02 2019

MP Chris Skidmore recently visited Parkwall Primary in Cadbury Heath.

MP Chris Skidmore at Parkwall Primary in Cadbury Heath

SCHOOLS in South Gloucestershire will benefit from an extra £10 million over the next three years.

The amount includes an extra £2.8m to support children with Special Educational Needs or Disabilities (SEND), which will help South Gloucestershire Council meet the increasing and projected future demand.

The authority now plans to consult with schools throughout the district to ensure the cash is put to the best use.

Historically South Glos is one of the lowest funded authorities per pupil in the country.

Campaigners have argued for years that the government's calculations are based on out-dated information and should be reassessed.

The Prime Minister had previously announced he would invest nationally more than £14 billion in primary and secondary education between now and 2022/23 to help level up education funding.

As part of this, every local authority will receive funding equivalent to a minimum £5,000 per secondary school pupil next year and a minimum £3,750 per primary school pupil next year, rising to £4,000 from 2021/22. 

The news has been welcomed by Kingswood MP Chris Skidmore, who is a minister in the Department for Education. He said: "It has never been fair that there has been so much disparity between Kingswood children living on one half of a street and Bristol children living on the other half.” 

Cllr Erica Williams, South Glos Council’s cabinet member for schools, said: “The overall increase amounts to more than £10m, which is very welcome and represents a larger increase than the national average. The extra £2.8m on support for SEND pupils will also make a difference, although we will be making sure that the Government understands that we need more.”

Cllr Alison Evans, Labour  lead for schools, , said the cash injection didn't go far enough to allow for any “meaningful” long-term projects" she said.

“This still leaves the schools budget with an unsustainable £6 million deficit.Our children deserve better."