David Drew MP secures urgent debate on school funding in Gloucestershire
The state of funding for Stroud schools will be discussed in parliament next week after David Drew MP secured an urgent debate on education funding in Gloucestershire.
The Stroud MP is calling on teachers and parents to tell him how funding issues have affected them and their children, ahead of the debate on Wednesday 30 January.
The debate will be a chance for Mr Drew, a former teacher, to raise concerns directly with a Schools Minister.
“Primary, secondary and special school headteachers are all telling me how the struggle to juggle budgets is having an impact,” he said.
“The government promised a fairer funding system, yet the budget proposals for next year still rank Gloucestershire’s secondary schools’ Block Funding as 130th out of 149 local authority areas.
“In addition, there is a growing crisis in funding for special educational needs, with the number of children who need support nearly doubling since 2015.
“The county’s predicted overspend will be £4.7 million and its own education staff have said this puts Gloucestershire in ‘a very serious and challenging position.’
“This puts a strain on all budgets and will affect all children.”
Julia Maunder, headteacher at Thomas Keble school, welcomed news of the debate.
“There is an absolute need to revisit the National Funding Formula and the use of Additional Needs money,” she said.
“Under current arrangements, this money, intended for intervention and support for vulnerable children, is instead being diverted to top up the core curriculum per-pupil funding levels.
“In effect, this creates a two-tier education system where schools that support these additional needs are financially disadvantaged for doing so.”