A £7.2 million education boost is expected in Northamptonshire after major changes in the school funding formula were announced in Parliament today.
Schools minister David Laws revealed an extra £350 million of grants a could be made available in 2015-16 to local authorities currently receiving the least amount of government money to spend on education.
The proposals, out to consultation from today, will replace what the minister describes as an ‘out of date’ formula that allocates monies to individual local authority areas.
He said: “For too long, the school funding system has been based on historical data that was out of date and no longer reflected pupils’ needs.
“This has resulted in a system that is opaque, overly complex, and is frankly unfair to pupils, parents and teachers.
“Sometimes similar schools just miles apart can be funded at very different levels, just because they happen to be in different local authority areas.
“In other cases, schools with many disadvantaged pupils can end up being funded at a level well below a nearby school in an affluent catchment.”
Northamptonshire County Council is currently one of the least funded local authorities in the country in ‘per pupil’ terms.
Currently the amount of grant given to the county averages out to £4,189 of spending per child.
From 2015 every local authority will attract a minimum funding level for every pupil and every school, meaning Northamptonshire stands to gain an extra £7.2 million to spend on education.
MP for Northampton South Brian Binley is thrilled with the proposals.
He said: “I’m delighted to see the Government is allocating a further £350 million to the lowest 40 counties affected by this formula.
“How it affects children will depend how the county allocates it, but it means there will be much more money per head, which is a good thing.
“I’ve been fighting for this for nine years. I’m coming to the end of my parliamentary career, so to achieve this now is very satisfying.”