Beverley and Holderness MP Graham Stuart today led a major Parliamentary briefing to make the case for fairer school funding to the Minister, Sam Gyimah MP, at which the Minister confirmed the Government intends to deliver major reform in this area over the course of this Parliament.
The meeting, chaired by Graham in his capacity as the Conservative Vice Chairman of the f40 Group, was attended by dozens of MPs and their staff on a cross-party basis. Following a presentation from f40 Chairman Councillor Ivan Ould, officials from the f40 Group set out the case for a fairer school funding settlement in detail, highlighting research showing that the ten best funded areas on average received grants of £6,300 per pupil this year, compared with an average of just £4,200 per pupil in the ten most poorly funded areas.
Graham emphasised to both the Conservative and Labour MPs who attended how important it is that progress is made on this issue, and set out a campaign plan including a coordinated programme of Parliamentary petitions to raise the profile of the issue. His call for action was echoed by MPs from across the country.
Parliamentary Under Secretary of State for Education and Childcare Sam Gyimah told the meeting that the Government is determined to deliver its manifesto promise to create a fairer school funding settlement and encouraged f40 MPs to keep up the pressure for change.
Graham Stuart said, “I was delighted that the Minister attended today’s meeting and gave such positive signals that fairer school funding will finally be delivered after a campaign that first started almost two decades ago. Ending the situation where children lose out owing purely to where they live is something I am determined to bring about and it is now an important priority for the Government.
“Winning acceptance from ministers that the current funding situation for schools is unfair and unsustainable has been a big step forward, but we now need to see that goodwill translated into action. Around 60 MPs and their representatives attended today’s meeting, sending a clear message that we are pleased that the Government is listening but also impatient for action on behalf of our constituents.
“I will launch a petition for Fair School Funding across Beverley and Holderness this summer and I hope as many parents and local people will sign up as possible to make our voice heard loud and clear: it’s high time for pupils in East Yorkshire to get the education funding they need and deserve.”