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Shropshire pupils being short-changed, claims leader

By Andrew Morris | Shrewsbury | Education | Published: | Last Updated:

Schoolchildren in Shropshire are being “short-changed” out of more than £22 million government funding, it has been claimed.

Shropshire Council leader Peter Nutting

Councillor Peter Nutting, leader of Shropshire Council, said each pupil in the county was getting £600 less funding from the government than they should.

He said he is now working with Shrewsbury & Atcham MP Daniel Kawczynski to tackle the issue.

He said Mr Kawczynski had met with Liz Truss, treasury secretary, to voice his concerns over the issue.

Councillor Nutting said the authority currently receives £4,467 per pupil annually from the government.

But he said by council calculations, this should be set at £5,101 per pupils – a shortfall of £22.67 million across the county’s 35,723 school pupils.

He said: “As far as I can see we are not receiving that £22 million and are being short-changed, for lack of a better word.

“I like to compare Shropshire, as a shire county of about 300,000 residents, to the London boroughs, which have about the same number of residents.

“The way the funding is set out across the board, the London boroughs are getting far more funding than the shire counties, despite a similar number of residents.

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“This harks back to the days of the Labour governments of the 90s when funding was really focussed on these metropolitan boroughs and boosting the urban areas.

“Since then we have not really had a Conservative majority for any great amount of time to focus on this and re-distribute things a bit more fairly.”

He added: “I am pleased Daniel has been so good to work hard on this with us, and I am grateful for him already working in parliament to lobby on our behalf.”

Last month, Prime Minister Theresa May told Mr Kawczynksi that the council could be looking at an increase of six per cent of funding per pupil.

He raised the issue at Prime Minister’s Questions, calling on the government to bring parity in funding across the country.

She said the new fairer funding model will help tackle the issues, and will be looked at very soon.

Andrew Morris

By Andrew Morris
Local Democracy Reporter - @AndyMorrisLDR

Local Democracy Reporter covering Shropshire.

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