Budleigh Salterton Town Council’s concern over school funding

PUBLISHED: 06:30 06 March 2017

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Town leaders will write to Westminster education bosses urging the Government not to go ahead with a new education funding formula.

The town council was asked by the head of St Peter’s Primary School, Steve Hitchcock, to consider writing to East Devon MP Sir Hugo Swire about the planned changes to school funding.

The Government is considering introducing a national ‘fairer funding’ formula which could see large primary schools and smaller secondary schools lose out.

Devon is set to get an extra £0.4million under the new formula, which is undergoing a second round of consultation that ends on March 22.

But the allocation of funding around the county actually means that 61.9 per cent of pupils face having their school’s funding cut.

In a letter to town mayor Chris Kitson, Mr Hitchcock pointed out that while St Peter’s will see an increase in income, any funding cuts to education would not be acceptable.

He said: “We have had a significant rise in our numbers on roll so we are actually going to be getting more income in our budget next year.

“This [funding cut] is still not acceptable as we need to invest more in our children.”

At a meeting this week, the town council agreed to send a letter to Secretary of State for Education Justine Greening MP in support of Budleigh’s only primary school.

Councillor Caz Sismore-Hunt said: “Any support we can give is going to help.”

District councillor Steve Hall added: “I would like to keep up the pressure on the Government – this has been going on for years and someone isn’t listening. The more letters of pressure we can send the better.”

Mr Hitchcock has also written a letter to parents suggesting they contact Sir Hugo about the potential funding cuts.

In the letter, he said: “I believe that parents and carers are the most powerful voice in this current situation. I believe many politicians also believe that investment in our schools must be a priority.”

He also suggested signing an online petition at www.schoolcuts.org.uk

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