Following lobbying by a group of MPs including myself, the government has issued a Consultation document (https://consult.education.gov.uk/) on a new fairer funding system for schools. The document draws attention to the way a school can receive 50% more than a school with a similar mix of pupils elsewhere in the country under current formulae. It states it intends to move to a system where ” we must fund pupils with the same characteristics and the same costs at the same rate, no matter where they live”.
The new system will continue to give more money to pupils from disadvantaged backgrounds. It will also take account of school and local area costs. There will be transitional arrangements, so the full national funding formula will apply from 2019-20. Progress will be made in the intervening years to get closer to fair funding.
This should mean improvements in the amount of money paid for each pupil at Wokingham and West Berkshire schools, which currently receive a low level of support. I encourage Councillors, teachers and parents interested to respond positively to the Consultation and to stress the need for a formula which does live up to billing and gives Wokingham and West Berkshire schools the same funding as other comparable schools.