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Harlow MP responds to Vic Goddard on education cuts

Politics / Thu 16th Feb 2017 at 02:59pm

HARLOW MP, Robert Halfon has written to Passmores Academy Principal, Vic Goddard on the subject of funding cuts in education.

We have published the letter in full.

Dear Vic,

Thank you for your letter regarding school funding. I have received exactly the same letter from other secondary schools in Harlow, so I will be replying to you all in the same way.

The Government has announced plans to end the historical postcode lottery in school funding which are intended to ensure every child is funded fairly and according to their specific needs, delivering the Government’s pledge to build a country that works for everyone, not just the privileged few.

The proposed reforms will mean an end to historical unfairness and under-funding for certain schools, levelling the playing field and giving parents the confidence that every child will have an equal opportunity to reach their full potential.

You will be aware, that despite financial pressure on public spending, the Government has protected the core schools budget in real terms since 2010. However, across the country, the system for distributing this has been unfair, meaning a school could get 50 per cent more if it were situated in another part of the country.

In order to fix this disparity, the Government has published its fair funding proposals, to ensure that children with similar characteristics and similar needs attract similar levels of funding – regardless of where their families happen to live.

As a result of the proposed national funding formula, due to be introduced from 2018 to 2019, more than 10,000 schools will gain funding, including more than 3,000 receiving an increase of more than 5 per cent by 2020. Significant protections have also been built into the formula so that no school will face a reduction of more than more than 1.5 per cent per pupil per year or 3 per cent per pupil overall.

Just as I supported you becoming an academy and opening a vocational centre for the improvement of your school, I also support the right for all parents to choose what they believe is best for their children. I believe everyone should have a choice and be able to access a good school, not just those who are fortunate enough to attend Passmores, especially when you have a waiting list and are oversubscribed.

I am pleased that Passmores has received over £1.2million in pupil premium (additional money to support students from disadvantaged backgrounds) since 2011 when it was introduced, a policy which I strongly support. I also welcomed the many millions of pounds given to Passmores to build their state-of-the-art new school building which the former Education Secretary, Michael Gove, opened in 2012.

I have contacted the Schools Minister about the specific questions you have raised, and I will respond to you in further detail once I receive a response.

I should add that I have huge respect for your school and have enjoyed visiting on numerous occasions since I have been MP to speak with you and your students. I hope that we can work together to achieve the best result for Passmores and all schools in Harlow and across the country.

Very best wishes,

Robert

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