Many residents will be aware that the Government is introducing a national funding formula to make funding fairer for schools and are consulting on the proposals.
Under the current formula, Solihull pupils, on average, are £980.00 worse off per pupil each year than neighbouring Birmingham. This is despite the fact that many pupils from Birmingham and Coventry are educated in Solihull borough schools. Unlike health where the money follows the patient, Solihull receives no additional funding for pupils not living in the borough other than the pupil premium. Unfortunately, the amendments do not address Solihull’s underlying problem of schooling so many pupils from over its borders but not at the rate of funding they would have received where they live.
I share the concerns of parents, school governors and head teachers, many of whom have contacted me about this. Although overall Solihull would see a 3% increase across the board - some schools, particularly primary schools would see a fall in funding.
I would like to reassure residents that I have already met the Schools Minister, Nick Gibb MP to discuss these proposals at length and responded to the consultation highlighting the concerns and impact of the proposed formula on schools in my constituency. The Minister has offered a further meeting to look at the issue again and to find a way forward.
I have long campaigned for a fairer schools funding formula to address the historic inequality within the current system and am pleased that the Minister shares my commitment to developing a formula that works in the interests of our schools.
Dame Caroline Spelman MP