MP takes up fight for local school funding

November 29, 2007 11:38 AM

Cheadle constituency MP, Mark Hunter this week took the fight for fair funding for local schools to the floor of the House of Commons. As part of an ongoing campaign to secure better funding for our local schools, Mr Hunter highlighted the massive funding gap between different local authorities.

During Communities and Local Government questions, Mr Hunter asked the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government, the Rt Hon Hazel Blears MP about the disparities in the current funding system. Mr Hunter pointed out that secondary schools on the same road can receive staggeringly different levels of funding - he cited the example of Kingsway Secondary school in his own constituency in Stockport which receives nearly 20% less dedicated schools grants than Parrs Wood Secondary school in Manchester, despite being just a mile away on the same road.

Mark condemned the inequality and called for action from the Minister, asking when this system would be changed to ensure a fairer distribution of resources, in reply the Minister said that it "is a pretty fair system".

Speaking after Local Government questions, Mr Hunter said: "I am stunned that the Minister is arguing that this is a fair system - how can she claim that this funding formula is fair when these two schools, barely a mile apart, receive significantly different levels of funding.

This coming year (2007/8) a pupil in Manchester will receive £684 pounds more funding than a pupil in Stockport, by 2010 this figure will reach £708. The funding formula needs to be urgently reviewed and changed to take into account these inequalities. Why should our children have less support than those in Manchester?

Education is the silver bullet - only by ensuring that our children have the best education possible can we improve society. It is our responsibility to provide the best education possible for all our children wherever they live. The Government is failing to do this and letting down future generations. The current inequalities in the system need to be considered seriously, not just ignored or glossed over. I will continue to campaign on this issue to ensure that our children get the education they deserve and need."

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