Peter Aldous: New school funding formula must be implemented promptly

4th July 2016

Peter Aldous calls on the Secretary of State for Education to ensure that new school funding arrangements are implemented promptly.

11. What progress her Department is making on ensuring that funding is fairly distributed across schools. [905619]

A fairer funding system is crucial to deliver our aim of educational excellence everywhere. It was a proud moment when Her Majesty said in her most recent Gracious Speech:

“There will also be a fairer balance between schools, through the national funding formula.”—[Official Report, House of Lords, 18 May 2016; Vol. 773, c. 2.]

The first stage of our two-part consultation on a national funding formula closed in April, and I thank everybody who responded to it. We are carefully considering the many responses we received.

...

... As I said earlier, the intention is that children with the same needs do not attract different amounts of money simply because of where they live. The new formula will ensure that pupils from disadvantaged backgrounds receive additional funding. The reforms are significant, so we are determined to get them right, which is why we will consult extensively.

I am interested in that answer. What steps will the Secretary of State take to ensure that the new funding arrangements for high-needs blocks are implemented promptly, and that low-funded counties such as Suffolk do not have to wait many years until they receive the level of funds to allow them to meet the needs of vulnerable learners?

My hon. Friend demonstrates the desire of Members from all parts of the House and from different counties to ensure that the funding formula is looked at. We are distributing additional high-needs funding. This year, Suffolk will receive an extra £1.2 million. As I have said, we are considering carefully the responses to the first stage of the national funding formula consultation on high needs, because we are determined to ensure that those who have been underfunded in the past benefit as quickly as possible.

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