Millions of extra cash for Lancashire schools is not enough

Secretary of State for Education Gavin Williamson
Secretary of State for Education Gavin Williamson

Lancashire's cash strapped schools are set to share in a multi-million pound boost, but teacher's leaders warn that it isn't enough.

The Government has announced plans to increase the amount of funding for state school pupils from next April.

Extra funding for schools has been announced

Extra funding for schools has been announced

This, says Education Secretary Gavin Williams, will even out discrepancies between funding anomalies and boost school coffers.

It will mean an extra £234 million coming to the North West as a whole. With more than 640 schools, Lancashire is expecting a 4.1 per cent increase per pupil, in the region of 17m.

The aim is to ensure a minimum of £5,000 a year for every secondary pupil and £3,750 - rising to £4,000 for primary school pupils across the country./

At present areas are funded differently according to specific criteria

Last month the Prime Minister announced a huge boost to education spending between now and 2022-23 – boosting spending on schools and high needs by a total of over £14 billion over three years, and today schools and local authorities found out how the first part of that investment - £2.6 billion - will be allocated for the coming year.

However headteachers leader and classroom staff unions have warned it is not enough and only takes school back to where they were before austerity measures were imposed.

A spokesman for the National Association of Headteachers said: " Despite the government’s recent funding announcements, schools will still be looking nervously at their allocations for next year, given the deep cuts to staffing and curriculum that they’ve had to make in recent years.

"Despite hopeful headlines of more money for schools, many will be left disappointed by allocations that are likely to be worth less in real terms next year than this.”

The National Education Union said a third of schools will suffer a funding cut because school costs rise faster than inflation.

"In April 2020, four out of five schools will still have less per pupil than in 2015.

"The money being put into the National Funding Formula is not enough to address historic under funding. Even though the Government identified many local authorities as suffering from significant under funding in 2015, 147 out of 150 local authorities will have even less money in April 2020 than they did in 2015."

Lancashire County Council's Phillippa Williamson, cabinet member for children, young people and schools, said the education authority expects to get around £17m extra for schools.

She added: "The county council welcomes the additional funding for schools that has recently been announced by the Government.

"Although we will only find out the exact allocation that we will receive for the next financial year in December, there is a minimum funding of £3,750 for each primary school pupil and £5,000 for every secondary school pupil that we will benefit from.

" I'm delighted that extra money will also be available for pupils with additional needs.

"This increase in funding will be useful currently in helping schools to achieve a stable budget as we know they have been experiencing financial pressures over recent years."

Since 2010, education standards in England have rocketed.

The Government says reforms have seen more primary school children on track to become fluent readers, more 19-year-olds leaving education with English and maths GCSEs, and almost one million extra school places have been created.