Extra cash for Dorset schoolchildren

Cllr Toni Coombs

Cllr Toni Coombs

First published in New Forest News by , Head of News

DORSET schools are estimated to be getting an extra £1.8m from the government, after it was acknowledged the county’s children were among the poorest-funded in the country.

However campaigners say that is just £37 per child - less than 1 per cent extra cash.

The Department for Education (DfE) has announced that schools are to receive an extra £350m in 2015-16 in a bid to help the least fairly funded areas in the country.

Cllr Toni Coombs, Dorset County Council’s Cabinet member for education, said: “Dorset is one of the lowest-funded counties for education and we have been campaigning for education equality for all our children for a long time, so we welcome the DfE's announcement of plans to increase per-pupil budgets for the least fairly funded local areas in the country.

“We want to see genuine fairness so we can help our schools be the best they can be, and for them to have the resources to target funding for those pupils that need extra help.

“At our first glance of the proposals, it looks like Dorset will receive an additional £1.8 million, which is an increase of about £37 per pupil.

“While this is certainly a step in the right direction the total increase is still less than 1 per cent, so we will still be one of lowest-funded areas in the country.

“We will be challenging the Government’s calculations as part of our feedback to their consultation.”

The council is a member of the f40 campaign group, which represents the local authorities with the poorest-funded schools in England.

For more information go to www.f40.org.uk

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