Schools given a cash boost

First published in News

SWINDON schools are set to receive a huge financial boost following changes to the Government’s funding formula.

The town has historically been among the lowest funded in the country but from next year the fund will increase by £2.9m.

This equates to an increase of more than £100 per pupil and will mean the council receives about £4,200 for every child in the borough.

Council leader David Renard (Con, Haydon Wick) said: “This increase will be warmly welcomed by the borough’s schools.

“It will help ensure that Swindon’s pupils receive the best possible start in life and that we can deliver one of the council’s key strategic priorities of right skills, right jobs, in the right places.”

“I am delighted that the Government has taken bold action to correct an imbalance that has existed since 1997 when Swindon became a unitary authority. We now have a less uneven level playing field than previous governments gave us.”

The move follows years of campaigning by MPs to lift the amount Swindon receives as it was previously in the bottom 40 funded councils in the country.

It formed part of the F40 Group, a collection of the lowest funded authorities, who lobbied the government for change.

On Thursday following a question in the House of Commons by Swindon South MP Robert Buckland it was announced Swindon would be getting the extra cash.

The new amount equates to a 2.5 per cent rise on the current amount, which is £4,102 per pupil. This rise is bigger than for other nearby authorities, with Reading getting a 2.1 per cent increase and Wiltshire 2.2 per cent.

Mr Buckland said: “I am absolutely delighted that the all the campaigning has worked and we have all been listened to. Myself and Justin Tomlinson, along with the council have been working very hard to raise the issue and it is great for the children of Swindon.

“For a long time Swindon has been desperately under-funded and been one of the lowest funded authorities in the country but the government have now addressed this issue.”

The money is due to come into place by April 2015.

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