An Evening Standard investigation revealed that senior Conservatives are lining up to urge the Prime Minister to abandon the Government’s school funding reforms before voters go to the polls.
Some of the Tories want a clear promise of a rethink in the party’s election manifesto, which is expected to be published within days.
Graham Brady, the powerful chairman of the 1922 Committee wants the Government to signal changes “in the near future”. He told the Standard: “Historically, school funding across the country has been unequal.
“It is quite right that the Government is seeking to address this with a more consistent approach to school funding according to need. But it has been obvious since very soon after the draft formula was published that it could not work in that form.
Laurence Robertson — Tewkesbury MP before Parliament was dissolved today — said: “The Government has not quite got there yet. The deprivation factor needs to be better targeted and properly applied.”
Former culture minister Ed Vaizey (Wantage) said: “There are alternative proposals which the Government needs to look at.”
David Burrowes (Enfield Southgate) said: “This election provides the Government with the opportunity — with a fresh mandate — to reset the education budget to meet the current costs of schools.
Geoffrey Clifton-Brown (Cotswolds) said: “The absolute minimum in the manifesto should be that no school loses out in cash terms.”
Tania Mathias (Twickenham) agreed that parents are rightly concerned that there needs to be “more money in the pot”.
The biggest proportional loss will be in London from the introduction of the National Funding Formula, where 70 per cent of schools stand to lose funding, says London Councils.
The capital’s inner city schools will lose £50 million, according to Department for Education figures.
The new formula was proposed by Education Secretary Justine Greening in December after years of campaigning by MPs and local authorities for a fairer model. Ministers say it is a fairer way of distributing funds across the country.
Do you think the Government will change the school funding reforms before voters go to the polls in June? Please tell us your thoughts in comments or via Twitter ~ Tamsin
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