Potters Bar MP lauds ‘significant funding increase’ for local schools

MP Oliver Dowden

MP Oliver Dowden - Credit: Archant

Potters Bar’s MP has said he is delighted with a “significant funding increase” for state schools across Hertsmere.

Hertsmere’s Tory MP Oliver Dowden said the plans outlined as part of the Government’s new National Funding Formula – which comes into effect in April 2018 – are designed to make school funding fairer.

He said that the current system sees each area of the country receive varying amounts of money for no justifiable reason, but under the new scheme money will be distributed according to a formula based on individual needs.

Mr Dowden said: “As I have said many times before, the excellent state education I received gave me the very best start in life.

“Protecting and improving funding for state schools is therefore an important priority for me and I constantly make the case for doing so with my ministerial colleagues.”

As part of the plans, an additional £1.3billion will be put into core funding for schools over the next two years, raising the overall budget by £2.6billion.

The total budget this financial year is almost £41billion.

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However, teachers had previously said that despite recent funding increases from central Government, there was actually a real-terms cut because of pay rises, increased pensions, NI contributions and local government funding cuts.

In essence, they claimed more money is being provided by central Government, but coupled with increased expenditure many schools will all actually have less money available.

Asked whether that is still the case after the latest plans, Mr Dowden said: “This funding increase is a very positive step forward. I will be listening to local schools to understand the impact on their budgets.”