Petition All West Sussex Schools to receive pupil funding at the national average.

Currently West Sussex Schools receive one of the lowest levels of pupil funding in the country. The situation has got so bad that it is having an impact on the standard of the education provided. West Sussex would like fairer funding for its schools.

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Government responded

We are firmly committed to introducing fairer funding through the national funding formula, so schools are funded on a fair and transparent basis, according to actual measures of need.

We have protected the core schools budget in real terms over the current spending review period. This year, the core schools budget will be over £40 billion – the highest on record.

We are aware that under the current funding system education spending is not distributed fairly and consistently. That is why we are committed to introducing fairer funding for schools so that funding is transparently matched to schools’ and children’s needs. In doing so, we will fund the education system in a way that promotes social mobility and social justice.

Earlier this year we conducted the first stage of consultation on our proposals for making the funding system fairer by introducing the National Funding Formulae (NFF) for schools and high needs. We initially proposed to introduce the NFF from 2017-18.

In July the Secretary of State announced that the NFF will be introduced in 2018-19 instead, to allow time for full and proper consultation on these important proposals. It also allowed us to give certainty to local authorities about their budgets in 2017-18.

We recognise West Sussex is a relatively low-funded local authority. In 2015-16 we took a step towards fairer funding by allocating an additional £390 million to low funded authorities through the “minimum funding levels” reform. West Sussex received an additional £930,000 from this reform. The extra funding for West Sussex was included in their baseline in 2016-17, and is protected in their baseline for 2017-18.

We also recognise that many schools are facing cost pressures and that they have worked to find efficiencies. A national funding formula will give headteachers more certainty about their funding over the longer term so that they can better manage their budgets. We are also providing support to help schools improve their financial health, including a range of information, guidance and tools available at:
https://www.gov.uk/government/collections/schools-financial-health-and-efficiency.
In the next stage of consultation, we will set out our plans for how the formula will be implemented including the impact on schools and local authorities. This stage will also confirm the factors that we will use in the formulae, and we will invite responses to the weightings we propose to give them.

We will release the response to the first consultation, and launch a full second consultation on the NFF later in the autumn.

Department for Education

At 100,000 signatures...

At 100,000 signatures, this petition will be considered for debate in Parliament

Other parliamentary business

MPs debate funding for West Sussex schools

On Wednesday 2 November, MPs will debate the funding of West Sussex schools.

You can watch the debate live on Parliament TV from 9.30 to 11am:
http://www.parliamentlive.tv/Event/Index/9b387b6d-28f4-4e0b-9d87-ffd64d3ed678?utm_source=petition&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=167761&utm_content=Parliament%20TV

Rt Hon Sir Nicholas Soames MP (the MP for Mid Sussex) successfully entered a ballot for this debate. This is one way backbench MPs can get debates in Parliament.

The debate will take place in Westminster Hall. You can find out more about Westminster Hall debates on the Parliament website: http://www.parliament.uk/about/how/business/westminster-hall-debates/?utm_source=petition&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=167761&utm_content=about%20wh%20debates

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