Education Funding: Wirral

Part of the debate – in Westminster Hall at 6:18 pm on 31st October 2017.

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Photo of Nick Gibb Nick Gibb Minister of State (Education) 6:18 pm, 31st October 2017

There is no cut in funding at Fender Primary School. The funding will increase, on top of which it will receive £1,320 per pupil in pupil premium.

We will also be able to go further than our manifesto commitment that no school would lose funding as a result of the national funding formula. Now, every school in the country will attract at least 0.5% more per pupil in 2018-19 and 1% more per pupil in 2019-20. Thirty five of the 111 schools in the Wirral will attract funding increases as a result of this decision to raise the funding floor, but all schools in Wirral will see an increase in their funding over the next two years.

Our formula will also rightly result in a significant boost directed towards the schools that are currently the least well-funded. I have said that the formula will provide for all secondary schools to have a de minimis per pupil funding of £4,820 in 2019-20 and for primary schools to have £3,500. My consultation confirmed the importance of funding for additional needs such as deprivation and low prior attainment. The consultation found that those factors were the best way to identify the children most likely to fall behind and to remain behind their peers. It is only right that we provide the greatest resources to the schools that are educating the greatest numbers of those children. In the Wirral, more students on average face these additional barriers, with greater than average percentages of children eligible for free school meals and living in the most deprived areas. Nationally, the formula will allocate £5.9 billion to additional needs funding and will distribute that funding more fairly. We have also protected the high needs budget, and there will be an increase in high needs spending in the Wirral.

In view of time, I will just say that for this Government, social mobility and education are a priority. The additional funding that we have announced, together with the introduction of a national funding formula, will provide schools with the investment that they need to offer a world-class education to every child in the country.