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MP welcomes schools funding win!

October 18, 2013 11:09 AM

Tim Farron MP at Kendal Nursery SchoolSouth Lakes MP and schools campaigner Tim Farron has welcomed today's announcement that Councillors have agreed funding recommendations put forward by Cumbria's schools, after Tim won key changes to the Government's funding rules.

Some of Cumbria's most valued small rural schools had faced the threat of closure following drastic cuts proposed last autumn. This led to a massive outcry among the county's head teachers, staff, unions and parents. Tim led a campaign to give the council the opportunity to amend the formula and protect our rural schools

The new formula that was secured by Tim was today agreed by Cabinet, and will now be submitted to the DfE. It will include:

- Introducing the new sparsity factor in Cumbria, ensuring rural schools don't lose out. Primary schools eligible for the sparsity factor will get a lump sum of £20,000 and secondaries £100,000. To be eligible schools should meet the following criteria:
- That the next nearest school is more than three miles away.
- Primary schools having less than 150 pupils and secondaries less than 600.

- A lump sum funding element of £75,000 for primary and £175,000 for secondary.

- Special Educational Needs (SEN) funding should be allocated in secondary schools at £733 per eligible pupil.

Commenting Tim said: "Today's news is the final stage in this long running campaign and I want to thank teachers, staff and councillors for their work - together we've managed to protect our schools from unfair cuts! Over the last year I have worked with ministers and with councillors to get a much better deal for our schools and.it's really heartening that we've got this win. I'm really grateful to Councillor Jo Stephenson and the Lib Dems on the County Council who have stopped the unfair cuts that the previous Tory-led council had proposed.

"I'm glad that the review we pushed for has meant we have won concessions on the funding formula and that the County Council have now agreed to ensure they will protect all our rural schools. However I will continue to fight to protect the long term future of our schools and ensure the funding formula is changed to prevent crises like this happening again."