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Farron: Schools funding boost is early Christmas present

December 18, 2014 9:52 AM

Tim Farron MP at Kendal Nursery SchoolThe Department for Education has announced it will invest millions more into Cumbria's education system. They have announced they will boost funding for schools by nearly £13.5 million. This funding has been welcomed by South Lakes MP Tim Farron as a 'much needed early Christmas present for Cumbrian schools'. Tim has long campaigned for better funding for Cumbria's schools.

The good news was announced in a Ministerial Statement by education minister David Laws MP to parliament yesterday. Cumbria will see a further £282,582 in 2015 to 2016 to help Cumbria continue to meet the costs of implementing the special educational needs and disabilities (SEND) reforms. Cumbria will also see a £13 million increase in schools funding via the dedicated schools grant.

In England 1 in 5 children has SEND, ranging from dyslexia to a physical impairment. The government's reforms will enable them and their parents to have a role in shaping the support they receive.

The SEND code of practice requires local authorities, health bodies, schools, maintained early education settings and colleges to carry out statutory duties for children and young people with SEND. The reforms extend provision from birth to 25 years of age. This will give families greater choice in decisions and ensure needs are properly met.

As well as the £282,582 to help local authorities implement the SEND changes, the government is also today giving authorities details of their dedicated schools grant allocations for academic year 2015-16. Cumbria will gain a £13 million boost from the 2015-16 early years block grant. This will take their funding up to £287 million in that year. Cumbria will benefit by 2% from the announcement.

That includes funding for schools, for children and young people with high needs, and for children in their early years.

Tim said: "This is great news for Cumbria's schools and will make a big difference for pupils. Over the last few years I have lobbied at every possibly opportunity to lobby for more funding for our schools. This announcement shows that our work on this paying off. I'd like to thank local teachers for their help and evidence to allow me to make the case to ministers.

"This really is an early Christmas present!"