MP secures £7.8 million for extra schools funding
South Lakes MP Tim Farron has heralded the news that his campaign for fairer schools funding means that rural schools in our area will benefit from an extra £7.8 million next year. Tim has fought for the last four years for better funding for small rural schools throughout the county.
Tim has met with education ministers numerous times and lobbied Schools Minister David Laws MP who came to Kendal and discussed the matter with campaigners.
Cumbria will see it schools budget increased by £7.8m in the next academic year. The £7.8m is based on pupil numbers at October 2013. The final allocation will be based on pupil numbers at the October 2014 census date.
The council has released a consultation document to schools to discuss the issue and hear their feedback. Cumbria County Council will need to decide, in consultation with the Cumbria Schools Forum and all Cumbrian primary and secondary schools and academies how to allocate the additional funding through the Cumbria School Funding Formula in 2015-16.
The Department for Education's Funding Formula for 2015-16 specifically recognises the challenges faced by small secondary schools serving sparsely populated areas. This is a key victory for Tim and local campaigners, who worried that the previous system was biased against small rural schools in areas like Cumbria.
Tim said: "The extra funding will go a long way towards addressing the historical funding gap, which meant that Cumbria was getting less to spend on education than most other areas in England. I'm delighted that next year schools throughout Cumbria will be able to spend the funding we fought for and secured.
"I will be pressing the council and education bosses to make sure the money gets to schools as quickly as possible."