School budget increase equates to £7 extra per pupil

County council cabinet member for education Melinda Tilley

County council cabinet member for education Melinda Tilley

First published in News

EDUCATION chiefs have said a proposed £500,000 increase to the county’s school budget will have little impact.

Schools Minister David Laws has announced the launch of a consultation which could see an extra £350m for 62 local authorities – including Oxfordshire.

Under the proposal, Oxfordshire County Council would receive an extra £500,000 in April 2015 for the 2015/16 financial year – a 0.1 per cent increase from what it will receive this financial year.

Bromley will see the largest increase, of 11.3 per cent, working out at more than £19m.

Overall, the county’s schools would receive a share of £333.6m under Mr Laws’ plans, an increase of £7 funding per pupil – up from £4,274 to £4,281.

County council cabinet member for education, Melinda Tilley, said she had been campaigning as part of lobby group f40 to change the way the Government allocates money to authorities.

Liberal Democrat councillor, Professor John Howson, who is an education campaigner, said: “We have done little better than stand still.”

Mrs Tilley said: “We are still one of the worst off. I have been trying to put pressure on the Government to change the funding formula and it looks as if it has not succeeded.”

Liberal Democrat candidate for Oxford West and Abingdon, Layla Moran, said: “They are beginning to get it right. It was so wrong for so long and it is about time they did something about it.”

Mr Laws said: “This will be the first time in a decade that funding has been allocated to local areas on the basis of the actual characteristics of their pupils and schools, rather than simply on the basis of historic levels of spending.”

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