Yorkshire MP calls for fairer funding for rural schools

Rishi Sunak, MP for Richmond
Rishi Sunak, MP for Richmond
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A NORTH YORKSHIRE MP has launched a petition calling on the Government to create a new national formula which delivers fairer funding for rural schools.

Rishi Sunak, the new Conservative MP for Richmond, told an education forum in his constituency that it was unfair that schools in North Yorkshire received hundreds of pounds less per pupil than some neighbouring urban authorities.

He used the event to launch a petition calling for a new national funding formula to replace the existing “arbitrary and unfair system”.

Mr Sunak said the current system was based on historic criteria which discriminated against rural areas adding: “There can be no justification for a formula which gives schools in Bradford and Middlesbrough about £400 per pupil more than North Yorkshire.” His call follows more than a decade of campaigning by representatives of some of the worst funded education authority areas in the country. The f40 group, whose vice chairman is the former education select committee chairman and Beverley and Holderness Tory MP Graham Stuart, has been pressing successive Governments to create a new national funding formula. And last week Russell Hobby, the General Secretary of the National Association of Head Teachers also said reforming the system needed to go ahead despite the funding pressures on schools.

Earlier this year David Cameron said that an extra £390m awarded to schools in some of the worst funded areas of the country last year to close the gap would be repeated in this Parliament.