'A step in the right direction': Education funding injection broadly welcomed
PUBLISHED: 16:46 05 September 2019 | UPDATED: 16:46 05 September 2019
Government plans to increase education funding have been welcomed in Devon.
Amidst the Brexit chaos at Westminster, Chancellor Sajid Javid promised an increase of £2.6billion to school funding in his spending round announcement on Wednesday (September 4).
Schools will receive a minimum of £5,000 for every secondary school pupil next year, while primary schools will receive £3,750 per pupil, rising to £4,000 the following year.
Initial calculations suggest Devon County Council could receive an extra £20million for education over the next two years, with £11.7million coming next year.
There could also be an extra £8.6million to help support children with special needs.
County Council leader John Hart broadly welcomed the news.
He said: "We have been campaigning with headteachers, governors and parents for fairer funding for Devon's schools and the promise to 'level up' under-funded areas is one I very much welcome.
"The boost for special needs education is also very welcome because we are facing intense pressure. But the amount Devon is likely to receive is about half of the current overspend on this vital service in this year alone."
Devon's cabinet Member for schools and deputy leader, James McInnes, is also chairman of the national campaign group f40 which represents the worst funded education authorities in the country.
He said: "We are delighted the Government has recognised schools have been underfunded for too long and is injecting much-needed cash into education.
"The extra funding for special educational needs is also extremely welcome as schools and local authorities across the country have struggled to meet the growing need and have found it simply impossible to make their budgets stretch.
"This is a huge step in the right direction that will go some way to repairing the damage caused by underfunding in recent years.
"This is an important beginning of Government accepting that education funding needs a long-term plan."