More than 4,000 people sign Devon schoolgirl's petition for fairer school funding
PUBLISHED: 16:08 13 August 2019 | UPDATED: 16:25 13 August 2019
More than 4,000 people have signed a petition launched by an 11-year-old girl who has called for fairer school funding in Devon.
Elloise Sargent, from Ottery St Mary, was upset to learn that her school, along with many others in Devon, received far less than the national average per child so she implored her mum Vicki Trebble-Sargent to help her try and change this.
The pair have launched a petition and created a Facebook group, Instagram and Twitter account named The Devon Campaign, to raise awareness of the issue. They have enlisted the support of over 50 other children and their families.
Since it was launched on Friday, August 2, it has attracted thousands of supporters.
Mrs Trebble-Sargent said: "All the kids are very upset as they are losing resources such as school trips and new books. My children are asking me why they are worth less, which is heart-breaking.
"Education funding in the UK is far from fair. There are many areas across the UK that fall far from the average spend per child. Education should not be a postcode lottery.
"In Devon we receive £294 below the national average per child across the board. Our schools are struggling. They have already been doing too much with too little and many are at breaking point and discussing the move to four-day weeks.
"If schools go to a four-day week, this is no longer just a problem for children but parents will struggle with childcare and employers will have staffing issues. This is not an individual's issue, it's a community one."
Read our story Devon schools could be forced to shut on Friday afternoons, councillor predicts here.
Mrs Trebble-Sargent said a number of Devon schools have been helping them by obtaining statistics and giving advice.
One of the school federations working with them receives more than £87,000 less per year because it is in Devon and have had their maintenance budget reduced from over £64,000 a year to £6,500.
Devon MPs, including East Devon MP Sir Hugo Swire, have also been joining a national campaigning for fairer funding for schools, set up by the f40 education fair funding campaign group. More than 80 MPs from all parties have written to former Chancellor Philip Hammond urging him to increase funding before permanent damage is done to the education of children across England.