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Funding Formula (Schools)

Volume 591: debated on Monday 19 January 2015

15. What progress her Department is making on delivering a fair and transparent funding formula for schools and supporting areas that have been historically underfunded. (907051)

We have now made significant progress towards fairer funding for schools and in 2015-16 we will distribute an additional £390 million to 69 of the least fairly funded local authorities, including Worcestershire, which will receive almost £7 million a year extra as a consequence. I congratulate my hon. Friend on his robust campaigning over a long period of time on this issue.

I am grateful to the Minister for that answer and this Government have done more than any other to address long-standing flaws in our school funding system and to commit to fairer funding. We have started the process, as my right hon. Friend says, but it still has further to go. Even with the £6.5 million for Worcestershire, local schools tell me that they are struggling to manage cost pressures. Is my right hon. Friend committed not just to the creation of, but the delivery of, a fair and transparent formula in the lifetime of the next Parliament?

I think I can reassure my hon. Friend on behalf of both coalition parties that we are committed to the delivery of a fair and transparent national funding formula in the next Parliament. We have already made the first big step and I agree with him that it is vital that we deliver a full solution to this long-standing injustice, which Labour failed to tackle in its long years in office.

21. My hon. Friend the Member for Worcester (Mr Walker) is right that we need a fairer funding formula for our schools and as part of that we need capital funding to be allocated over three years rather than one. Does the Minister agree that the long campaign for the consolidation of St Nicholas primary school in Beverley will be more likely to be realised if such a change can be effected? (907057)

I agree with my hon. Friend that long-term capital funding is highly desirable and he will know that we have already moved to multi-year allocations of basic need funding. My right hon. Friend the Secretary of State and I are now looking very carefully at the argument for moving to longer term allocations of other parts of the capital budget.