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House of Commons Hansard
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Funding for grammar schools in Southend
12 March 2015
Volume 594

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I am honoured to present the petition signed by more than 4,000 grammar school pupils and their families in Southend. The signatures were gathered mainly by the Southend high school for boys and Westcliff high school for girls. The grammar schools in the area that I represent face a funding crisis, despite making all possible savings. Other secondary schools in the same area receive up to 50% more per pupil per year. A similar online petition organised by a former student of one of my grammar schools has also gathered nearly 4,000 signatures. Grammar schools are some of the best performing schools in the country and something needs to be done to address this funding discrepancy.

The petition states:

“The Petitioners therefore urge the House of Commons to request that the Department for Education addresses the funding discrepancy between grammar schools and other secondary schools to ensure that the funding system does not discriminate against some of the best performing schools in the country and some of the most ambitious pupils who wish to take up extra subjects.”

Following is the full text of the petition:

[The Petition of grammar school pupils and their families in Southend,

Declares that the Petitioners are concerned that the outstanding grammar schools in Southend are facing an urgent funding crisis, as their two and three year budget forecasts show that they cannot cover the costs of all of their lessons; further that the Petitioners believe that many successful schools across the country, including the grammar schools in Southend, have long accepted a lower rate of funding while other secondary schools in the same area receive 50% more per pupil per year; further that the Petitioners are concerned that the local Schools’ Funding Forum cannot close this gap and that successful schools such as the grammar schools in Southend are facing the worst cuts; further that the Petitioners recognise the fact that their schools have reduced staffing to the minimum, have stopped replacing equipment, while at the same time increasing class sizes and reducing the number of subjects taught; and lastly that the Petitioners believe that there is nothing left to cut.

The Petitioners therefore urge the House of Commons to request that the Department for Education addresses the funding discrepancy between grammar schools and other secondary schools to ensure that the funding system does not discriminate against some of the best performing schools in the country and some of the most ambitious pupils who wish to take up extra subjects.

And the Petitioners remain, etc.]

[P001452]