MP welcomes funding boost for schools while council say increases don’t match inflation

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WHILE local MP Andy Carter has welcomed the highest ever spending on children’s education in Warrington South, education chiefs in the town say the funding increase does not match inflation.

Mr Carter says the rise will take the total spend on schools in Warrington South to more than £95 million for the first time ever – with the amount per pupil in Warrington South rising to £4,737 in primary schools and £5,992 in secondary schools.

He says the extra funding is aimed at giving schools the resources they need to raise attainment, provide the right support to all pupils and students, as well as supporting children who’ve fallen behind as a result of time away from school during the Covid lockdown.

But Warrington Borough Council says the funding increase does not match inflation and difficult choices could lie ahead with the ongoing costs of rising bills and resources.

The Department for Education’s total core school budget, for England, will rise to £56.8 billion by 2024-25; a £7 billion cash increase compared with 2021-22. High needs funding – support for children with the most severe special educational needs and disabilities – is increasing by a further £570 million in 2023-24, bringing the total budget to over £9.7 billion.

Mr Carter said: “Helping kids achieve the best start in life remains one of my top priorities, supporting early year education right through to A and T level students and young people taking on apprenticeships.
All primary and secondary schools in Warrington South will see an increase in total and per pupil funding, including increases well above the national average to support disadvantaged pupils.
“As part of my role as a constituency Member of Parliament I visit a different school each week, to meet the Head Teacher, Governors, Staff and children, where I get to see first-hand the fantastic work going on in schools, inspirational teachers bringing subjects to life. I’ve been very focused on securing more support for some of the schools which have been in urgent need of better facilities and I’m really pleased this work is also paying off, with a £6m boost for Penketh High School just last week.”

But a Warrington Borough Council spokesperson said: “Continuing to invest in our schools is essential, to ensure that our primary and secondary schools get the support and resources they need.
“This announcement means there will be additional funding for special educational needs and disabilities, which represents around a 6% increase. We are also seeing a 5% increase in funding for pupils eligible for, and in receipt of, free school meals.
“The School Supplementary Grant (SSG), which last year was announced as additional funding in the autumn after the 2022/23 funding rates had been published, has been absorbed into this year’s funding settlement announcement. This essentially means that this year’s funding, compared to last year’s original settlement plus the SSG, appears to represent an increase of around 1%.
“This is therefore a funding increase that does not meet the rise in inflation. This could mean our schools having to make difficult choices this year given the ongoing cost of rising bills and resources.”


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