Beverley MP leads fair funding demonstration

Graham Stuart MP
Graham Stuart MP
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A campaign led by Beverley and Holderness MP Graham Stuart for fair school funding demonstrated support from 107 constituencies across England when scores of MPs presented public petitions in the House of Commons chamber.

Mr Stuart, Vice Chairman of the F40 campaign that has led calls for school funding to be overhauled, was pivotal on Tuesday evening where he was joined by both Labour and Conservative MPs.

It follows the commitment given by Chancellor George Osborne at last week’s Comprehensive Spending Review that the Government will consult on a new national funding rate for pupils in the New Year.

Graham presented the petition from his constituency of Beverley and Holderness, where 2,287 people signed up to show their support.

Speaking ahead of the presentation, Graham said: “Tuesday’s presentation is intended to showcase the strength of feeling that exists up and down the country that levels of school funding cannot continue to be arbitrary and unfair. The current system hits rural and urban areas alike and the campaign does not divide along party lines – Shadow Home Secretary Andy Burnham has confirmed he plans to attend and the biggest winner under our proposals would be Labour-held Barnsley.

“I am very grateful to everybody who has signed the petition in Beverley and Holderness and all those across the country. It’s great that ministers have now committed to consult on how best to implement a new national funding formula but we will not let up until fair funding is delivered to schools in our constituencies.”

The ten best funded areas of England receive average schools block funding of £6,300 per pupil this year, compared to an average of £4,200 in the ten worst funded areas.

Beverley High School headteacher Sharon Japp said: “I echo the views of Graham Stuart MP, I am very pleased with the government’s commitment to fairer funding but need to see the detail. It has been a long time coming and schools in the East Riding are dealing with historic underfunding on an annual basis. I am optimistic however that by 2017/2018 our budgets should look healthier.”