I SUPPORT the aims of the new proposed Schools National Funding Formula to have a fairer, more transparent approach to the funding of schools across the country.
However, I am concerned about the potential impact these current proposals would have on local schools, as the proposals would lead to Cheshire East becoming the lowest funded local authority area nationally.
I was part of a delegation, including other local MPs, local head teachers and the leader of Cheshire East Council, Coun Rachel Bailey, which met with Rt Hon Nick Gibb MP, Minister of State for School Standards at the Department of Education, in January to discuss and address issues relating to the funding formula proposals.
During the meeting, the Minister listened to the concerns raised and said that he would do more financial modelling to better understand how the proposed funding levels have been arrived at for schools in Cheshire East and to address issues which had been raised.
A number of residents have contacted me over the last few days regarding their concerns about the proposals. I have written to ministers to ensure that they are aware of the specific issues that have been raised and the implications for local schools.
I would also encourage all local residents who are concerned about these proposals to engage with the ongoing consultation on the proposed national funding formula, to ensure that the government is fully aware of any comments they may have. The consultation closes on March 22, and more information can be found at www.gov.uk/ government/ consultations/schoolsnational- fundingformula-stage-2.
I will continue to work with Cheshire East Council and local schools in the weeks ahead to review any potential proposed funding anomalies relating to schools in Cheshire East, and also to work with ministers to seek an improved final settlement.