A YORKSHIRE MP has welcomed a commitment by the Prime Minister that an extra £390m awarded to schools in some of the worst funded areas of the country last year would be repeated in future.
Graham Stuart, who is a vice-chairman of a campaign group calling for school funding reform, said he was delighted this money would be included in local areas “baseline funding” from now on.
The Conservative MP, for Beverley and Holderness, is part of the f40 group which represents schools in some of the worst funded areas of the country - including the East Riding.
He says the current method for allocating school funding is flawed and unfair to pupils in both some rural and urban areas.
The ten best funded areas received on average grants of almost £6,300 per pupil this year, compared to just £4,200 per pupil in the ten most poorly funded areas. Mr Stuart has regularly highlighted the disparity between the per pupil funding in the East Riding and Hull as an example of the problem.
At Prime Minister’s questions Mr Stuart asked David Cameron whether the £390m awarded last year to schools in some of the worst funded areas would be repeated in future years - a manifesto pledge of the Conservatives during the election campaign.
The Prime Minister said it was unfair that schools in some areas receive more than 50 per cent more funding than schools in others, and pledged that the Government’s manifesto commitments would be observed.
Mr Stuart hailed this as a breakthrough as it was the first time the Government had formally confirmed it would make the extra £390m funding, announced for 2015/16 under the last government, permanent.
He added: “I am delighted the Prime Minister has publicly confirmed that the manifesto pledge to baseline the extra £390m for future years will go ahead.
“This is an important breakthrough for poorly funded local authorities and a milestone on the road to fairer funding. School funding reform is crucial to deliver fairness for our children, which is why the commitment is so important.
“It is morally indefensible that children in schools in many local authority areas, including my own patch - the East Riding of Yorkshire - continue to receive considerably less for their education each year than children on other, often neighbouring areas.”