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Funding for young people in Devon

Volume 634: debated on Monday 8 January 2018

The petition of residents of the constituency of Newton Abbot,

Declares that each pupil in Devon Received £290 less than the national average; further that Conservatives in Devon believe this is not right; and further that the recent Government consultation was flawed and did not improve the situation.

The petitioners therefore request that the House of Commons urges the Government to increase the funding for the young people of Devon.

And the petitioners remain, etc.—[Presented by Anne Marie Morris , Official Report, 24 October 2017; Vol. 630, c. 271.]


Observations from the Minister for School Standards (Nick Gibb):

We announced the final details of the national funding formulae for schools and high needs on 14 September. This followed two consultations on the principle of the formulae (in March 2016) and the full details of the formulae, including illustrative allocations for schools and local authorities (in December 2016). Under our December proposals, some schools would have received less funding as a result of the national funding formula for schools. Schools in the Newton Abbott constituency would have lost 0.3% on average under the proposals set out in December.

In July we announced an additional £1.3 billion for schools and high needs across 2018-19 and 2019-20, in addition to the schools budget set at Spending Review 2015. This allowed us to make the following changes to the formula for schools:

Increase the basic amount of funding every pupil attracts through the formula;

Providing a cash increase in respect of every school and every local area from April 2018. Final decisions on local distribution will be taken by local authorities, but under the national funding formula every school will attract at least 0.5% more per pupil in 2018-19, and 1% more in 2019-20, compared to its baseline; and

Introducing a minimum per pupil funding level. Under the national funding formula, in 2019-20 all secondary schools will attract at least £4,800 per pupil, and all primary schools will attract at least £3,500 per pupil. In 2018-19, as a step towards these minimum funding levels, secondary schools will attract at least £4,600, and primary schools £3,300.

As a result of these changes, under the final national funding formula, schools in Newton Abbott would gain 2.4% if the formula were fully implemented (based on 2017-18 data).

Schools in Devon local authority are currently funded £218 per pupil below the national average—Devon schools receive on average £4,281 per pupil, compared to the national average of £4,499. This makes Devon the 112th highest funded local authority (out of 150, where 1 is the highest funded). It is not the intention of the NFF to ensure that every school receives an identical level of funding per pupil. The NFF directs more resources towards areas that face greater challenges, or higher costs in educating pupils. Under the NFF, Devon schools will continue to be funded at lower than the national average. If the formula were fully implemented, and based on 2017-18 data, schools in Devon would receive on average £4,429 per pupil, compared to the national average of £4,657—a difference of £228 per pupil. This is largely because Devon schools are, on average, significantly less deprived than schools elsewhere in the country. For example, 21% of primary pupils in Devon and 20% of secondary pupils live in deprived areas (as defined by the Income Deprivation Affecting Children Index) compared to the national average of 46% and 43% respectively.