MP asks Prime Minister for fairer funding for schools

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An East Sussex MP has signed a letter calling on the Prime Minister to give fairer funding to schools in the Eastbourne area.

Caroline Ansell, MP for Eastbourne and Willingdon, said fairer funding could mean around £100,000 extra per year for some secondary schools.

After meeting with headteachers, who told her funding was a challenge, Mrs Ansell signed a letter by f40 – The Campaign for Fairer Funding in Education – which described the existing arrangements as “arbitrary and unfair”.

The issue of school funding has also prompted concerns in neighbouring West Sussex.

The best funded areas in England received an average grant of £6,297 per pupil this year, compared to an average of just £4,208 per pupil in the 10 most poorly funded areas.

In Mrs Ansell’s constituency, schools received £4,449.96 per pupil in 2014/15, which was below the English average of £4,550.

Mrs Ansell, who is a former teacher, said: “It’s just not fair that some pupils receive thousands more per year than others and I’m glad that the Government has recognised this and has given £390 million to make the situation better into 2016.

“However, the letter to the Prime Minister has been sent to ask for a fair funding settlement to be set up nationally, whether schools are in urban, rural or inner London locations.

“This is something that teachers in Eastbourne would very much welcome because it would mean more funding per pupil immediately and eradicate this unfairness permanently.”

She added: “Everyone would like to see a new national formula introduced, based on a clear rationale and geared towards improving educational standards across the country.

“These should reflect special educational needs, deprivation and the importance of small schools.

“Education is key to life chances, so it’s vital for me that young people in Eastbourne and Willingdon have the very best start that is available.”

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