Update - July 12 2019
I have received the following update Secretary of State, Damian Hinds.
I wanted to write to give you some further information about school results and resourcing, nationally and in Cornwall. These are very important subjects that I know continue to be of great interest to your constituents; I hope the information in this letter will be of use when responding to correspondence.
In Cornwall, 84% of children now (as at December 2018) attend schools rated good or outstanding, compared to 73% in 2010.
This decade, we are on course to create a million school places, following the net loss of 100,000 in the six years up to 2010. In Cornwall, over 4,800 places have been added; this includes the establishment of one Free School. A further four new schools have been agreed to be created in the coming years.
Over the two years 2018/19 and 2019/20, per-pupil funding in Cornwall is going up by £126.40 (up 2.9%) and when changes in pupil numbers are taken into account, total funding rises by £15.4 million (up 5.3% compared to 2017/18).
In 2019-20, the National Funding Formula (NFF) allocates Cornwall:
- £3,990 per primary pupil. For a class of 26 (the average primary class in Cornwall), this equates to £105,098.
- £5,030 per secondary pupil. For the same class of 26 pupils, this equates to £132,508.
- An additional £5.5 million of funding through the growth, premises and mobility factors of the formula, which are not distributed on a per pupil basis.
On top of the NFF, Cornwall will receive £20.5 million in Pupil Premium funding (including the Service Child Pupil Premium and Pupil Premium Plus) to support the 18,504 pupils eligible for Pupil Premium of all abilities perform better, and close the gap between them and their peers.
Across Cornwall there are now 167 more teaching assistants compared to 2011.Following the end of the 1% public sector pay cap, we are funding the unexpected additional cost of the pay award for teachers with £508 million over two years, over and above the amount schools had already been allocated. We are also covering the costs of increased pension contributions for state schools (the Teachers’ Pension Scheme is a key part of the pay and benefits package to attract and retain teachers; it is one of the most generous pension schemes in the country, and with rising longevity has become more costly).
Meanwhile we are taking steps to address some of the areas of particular cost pressures that education has faced. One of these is High Needs, despite the High Needs budget having risen by £1 billion over the last five years. Steps we are taking include capital funding both for new special schools and inclusion units in mainstream schools, reviewing the structure of funding, and training more Educational Psychologists. We have also provided some additional revenue funding for this year and next to local authorities: Cornwall will receive an additional £2.3 million over the two years, bringing the total High Needs block funding for two to 18 year-olds to £41.7 million in 2018/19 and £43.1 million in 2019/20.
For any individual school in your constituency you can see how both their funding and spend on different categories compares to other schools of similar size and pupil characteristics elsewhere at: https://schools-financial-benchmarking.service.gov.uk/.
We know from independent studies that the UK is a high spender on state primary and secondary education by international standards,2 and also that real spending per pupil is half as much again higher than it was in 2000.3 Nevertheless, I very much recognise the financial constraints that schools face. As you know, the Spending Review is the key determinant of spending for government departments; I will be setting out a strong case for education, which is key to so much else in our society and our economy.
I am aware that a number of schools have written to parents about school resourcing, at the suggestion of the ‘Worth Less?’ campaign. I am afraid that in some cases it would appear a misleading impression may inadvertently have been relayed. Some of these letters, using wording from the campaign, suggest that ministers have refused to meet headteachers to discuss funding. This is not correct. In fact, we have met and discussed funding with headteachers from the Worth Less? campaign, and other campaign groups, unions and professional associations, and many individual headteachers and groups of headteachers.
I appreciate you continue to raise really important issues relating to school resourcing and performance. We are striving for world-class education, for all pupils, whatever their background. This means the best academic standards, updating technical education, prioritising the most disadvantaged, recruiting and retaining the best people and making sure every pound counts. To achieve this obviously needs sustained investment. I believe we have made great progress to date, but there is clearly much more still to do."
Update - March 20 2019
It’s great to see more children and young people now attending good and outstanding local schools than in 2010. Thanks to the hard work and dedication of teachers, governors, family and the wider community, more young people are achieving more. It’s important our local schools receive the funding that they need to do this.
There is a great deal of misinformation being circulated which claims that the Government is cutting funding for our schools. Our local schools funding has been steadily rising for a number of years as can be seen from the below. I want our local schools and FE colleges to receive more funding and continue to work hard to make the case for more funding.
Schools receive grant funding, based a national funding formula and depending on the numbers of children and young people attending the school. So funding can go up and down depending on the numbers of pupils. You can find a chart with the amount for each school at the bottom of this page.
Cornwall Schools Block Formula Funding
In addition to this grant funding schools receive the Pupil Premium, which is provided to publicly-funded schools in England with the aim of raising the attainment of disadvantaged children. This continues to increase for schools in Truro & Falmouth.
Furthermore, Cornwall will now receive £73,509,191 between 2011 and 2021 in Basic Needs funding to provide new schools places, up from the £46,925,075 which was previously announced.
In March 2017 further support was announced to help local authorities make capital investments for children with special educational needs. This enables them to invest in new places and facilities for children with SEND. Cornwall Council will receive the following:
Top up funding £444,957
The opportunity to participate in Sport and Music are really important for us all so it is important that schools have access to additional funding for these important activities.
In March 2016 it was announced by the Government that the PE and Sport Premium would be doubled from £160 million per year to £320 million per year in a ring-fenced spending move until 2020 due to the introduction of the soft drinks industry levy. The table below shows how Cornwall benefitted from the extra funding.
PE and Sport Premium
Furthermore, the Cornwall Music Education Hub is led by Cornwall Council and receives funding from the Government to respond to the needs of the National Plan for Music Education. Cornwall is set to receive a total of £3.5m from 2015 to 2020.
Cornwall is set to benefit from an increased high needs budget in both 2018-19 and 2019-20 of £1,139,820. The table below shows how Cornwall’s High Needs Block of funding, which is provided for special educational needs, has increased in recent years. Whilst the high needs budget faces significant pressures, this additional investment will help to manage this.
The Government has also announced that it will provide councils with £250m additional funding to the High Needs Block of the Dedicated School Grant (DSG) over the next two financial years. This brings the total allocated for high needs this year to £6.1 billion and £6.3 billion in 2019-20.
High Needs Block Allocation
On a national level, core funding for schools and high needs has risen from almost £41 billion in 2017-18 to £43.5 billion in 2019-20. The independent Institute for Fiscal Studies (IFS) figures show that real terms per pupil funding for 5 to 16 year olds in 2020 will be more than 50% higher than it was in 2000 and more than 70% higher than in 1990.
The National Funding Formula is now directing money where it is most needed, based on schools’ and pupils’ needs and characteristics – not accidents of geography or history. Schools are already benefitting from the gains delivered by the national funding formula.
Update - May 2018
Over the past few months I have been discussing schools funding with school leaders in Cornwall. I recently met with the Chancellor to make the case for additional funding for Cornwall’s school. The Comprehensive Spending Review next Spring will allocate funding across our public services for the next three years. I will continue to do everything that I can to secure additional funding for our local schools.
Update - September 2017
Recently in Parliament I welcomed the good news that all schools in my constituency will see an increase in funding. There are 39 schools in Truro and Falmouth and together they will receive additional funding of £1.9 million. That is a 3.8% increase. I support the introduction of the transparent National Funding Formula based on the educational needs of young people. Here is more information about the announcement today: http://hansard.parliament.uk/commons/2017-09-14/debates/BCD6D78A-492B-48B0-B093-DE29B28344C7/SchoolsNationalFundingFormula
You may look at the funding increases for each individual school in the Truro & Falmouth constituency in the spreadsheet attached below.
Update - July 2017
Since being re-elected as your local MP in June, I have been working with Ministers to ensure the extra funding the Government has pledged for schools funding reaches local schools. Attached below is the most recent letter that I have received providing a useful update.
Sadly my opponents are scaremongering about “cuts” to schools funding. They claim that the Government plans reductions in funding for local schools.
As the below table indicates, funding for schools here in Cornwall is rising.
Year Allocation Source
2014-2015 £279,154,088 https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/schools-block-funding-formul…
2015-2016 £287,731,630 https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/schools-block-funding-formul…
2016-2017 £287,896,275 https://www.gov.uk/guidance/schools-block-funding-formulae-2016-to-2017
2017-2018 £291,189,883 https://www.gov.uk/guidance/schools-block-funding-formulae-2017-to-2018
The way funding is distributed to schools in England is not fair. I have long campaigned for fairer funding for our schools here in Cornwall, which is why I welcome the introduction of a national schools funding formula that is currently being consulted upon to get it right.
Across the country, children with the same needs and expectations receive markedly different rates of funding for their school place. We have begun to correct this and a Conservative Government in the next Parliament we will make funding fairer still.
Some have said that Cornwall was set to lose out as a result of the proposed new National Funding Formula. This is not the case. Indicative figures from the Department of Education showed a further rise in funding for school in Cornwall to £294,409,275. There are "winners and losers" in this allocation and I made it clear to the Secretary of State that this was unacceptable.
So I am pleased that the Conservative Manifesto makes it clear that no school will have its budget cut as a result of the new formula. We will increase the overall schools budget by £4 billion by 2022, representing more than a real terms increase for every year of the Parliament.
There has also been scaremongering about free school lunches. Under a new Conservative government, schools in England will offer a free school breakfast to every child in every year of primary school, while children from low-income families will continue to receive free school lunches throughout their years in primary and secondary education. There is good evidence that this will help the wellbeing and learning of children.
The savings made from this change will be added to the core schools budget, meaning that every penny saved will go towards children’s education.
To help children from the most disadvantaged background succeed in education we have introduced additional funding through the Pupil Premium. As the table below illustrates, schools in Truro & Falmouth have received over £8,397,765 through this fund over the last three years.
Year Allocation Source
2014-2015 £2,817,000 https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/pupil-premium-2014-to-2015-f…
2015-2016 £2,783,020 https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/pupil-premium-2015-to-2016-a…
2016-2017 £2,797,745 https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/pupil-premium-conditions-of-…
A Conservative Government will protect the Pupil Premium to ensure that it continues to support children from disadvantaged backgrounds to get the education they deserve.
As well as ensuring disadvantaged children have access to a good education it is important to make sure that some of the most vulnerable people in our society – those with special education needs and disabilities – are able to get the most out of school. That is why the Government has recently announced a package of funding to help schools provide for pupils with special educational needs and disabilities. From 2018 – 2021 Cornwall will receive £1,913,315 to help give these children the best possible education.
Schools in Cornwall are set to benefit further from Basic Needs funding, which help local schools to provide new places for students. By 2019 Cornwall will have received a total of £46,925,075 through this scheme alone.
There is also additional funding for schools sports and music.
But improving educational opportunities isn't just about money. It is good to see standards rising in our schools since 2010. Despite all of these positive changes there is still more that can be done to ensure children in Cornwall have access to the best possible education. If I am re-elected as your Member of Parliament I will continue my hard work to ensure that the new National Funding Formula delivers even more for Cornwall.
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