MP calls for more money for Hartlepool school pupils

MP Iain Wright meets with Year 4 students at Eldon Grove Academy
MP Iain Wright meets with Year 4 students at Eldon Grove Academy

Outgoing MP Iain Wright urged the Government to increase funding for Hartlepool school pupils.

Town schools are set to lose out on almost £900,000 under a new National Funding Formula according to think tank the Education Policy Institute (EPI).

And the UK’s biggest teaching union claims Government funding cuts will leave Hartlepool schools almost £6million worse off by 2020.

Mr Wright, who announced last week he will not be standing in June’s snap election, asked Education Secretary Justine Greening if she would make it her policy to increase real-term funding per pupil in Hartlepool.

Department for Education Minister Nick Gibb Minister in a written response said school funding was at its highest level ever at almost £41billion and would increase by another billion by 2019-20 as pupil numbers rise.

Mr Gibb said: “We want schools to have the resources they need, and through our careful management of the economy we have been able to protect the core schools budget in real terms.

“We are going to end the historic postcode lottery in school funding and under the proposed national schools funding formula, more than half of England’s schools will receive a cash boost.

“Our proposals include significant protections so that no school would face reductions of more than 1.5% per year or 3% overall per pupil as a result of this formula, and on high needs funding for pupils with special education needs and disabilities, no area would lose funding at all.”

He added: “We recognise the increasing cost pressures schools are facing and will continue to provide advice and support to help them use their funding in cost effective ways, and improve the way they buy goods and services, so they get the best possible value for their pupils.”

Mr Gibb added the Government has produced tools, information and guidance for schools financial health and efficiency.

Hartlepool Borough Council has written to the Secretary of State for Education over the issue.

Councillor Alan Clark, chair of the council’s Children’s Services Committee, said earlier this year: “The Government’s proposed new National Funding Formula (NFF) will have a significant impact on children in Hartlepool.

“The cuts will force schools to cut staffing numbers and that includes a reduction in teaching staff.”