Pressure on to increase funding for Shropshire schools

Council bosses are increasing pressure on the government to improve school funding in the county.

Shropshire Council said it is struggling to provide effective support for schools under the current level of funding it receives.

It said it is worried about going into deficit to provide services and said it is working with the county’s MPs to lobby for more support.

The authority is part of a group called f40, which represents 41 local authorities which receive historically low school funding from the government.

Now Nick Bardsley, cabinet member for children and young people, has said the council will increase pressure on the government.

He will tell a meeting of the full council next week that Shropshire has historically received poor funding but schools are achieving well in spite of this.

Historic inequities

He will say: “Shropshire Council and its Schools Forum are part of f40, a group representing 41 English local authorities with historically low levels of funding for education.

“On behalf of their members, f40 has been campaigning for over two decades for a fairer system for allocating funding to schools and have been influential in securing the introduction of a National Funding Formula which has, and is, addressing some of the historic inequities in funding between schools in different parts of the country.

“However, together and through f40, Shropshire continues to press for further improvements to the formula, in particular in addressing the historic inequities that have been ‘locked into’ the NFF.

“While acknowledging the NFF as being a move in the right direction, there is a strong case for further improvement for fairly funding schools in large rural counties like Shropshire.

“The authority, on behalf of its education community, is also supporting the work of f40 in lobbying for additional funding for the sector, from early years, through mainstream and into post-16 education.

“They are also pressing for further support in meeting the increasing demand for, and the consequential additional costs of, educating our most vulnerable children and young people with special educational needs and disabilities, currently funded through what is called the High Needs Block (part of Dedicated Schools Grant).

“Together with most English local authorities, Shropshire Council is struggling to provide effective support within the current resources provided, with many having to go into deficit to fund provision.

“The issue of school funding and, in particular high needs funding, has been raised with local MPs.”

Story by Andrew Morris, local democracy reporter

Top Stories

More from the Shropshire Star

UK & International News