MORE than a third of Devon’s schools will lose out if new national funding figures aren’t revised, the county’s education chief has warned.
Devon’s schools are already funded at £290 less per pupil than the national average and Devon County Council, heads and governors have fought a long campaign for fair funding.
The previous coalition Government announced it would bring in a national funding formula for education and proposals were announced for consultation before Christmas.
But figures released by Devon County Council show that while 212 schools in the county would benefit, another 129 would be even worse off than they are now. They include 24 secondaries, 103 primaries and two all-through schools.
And pupils would still be funded at £268 a head less than the national average. That adds up to £24million less coming to Devon schools than if they were funded at the national average.
Now Devon’s Cabinet member for schools, James McInnes, is campaigning for all of the county’s schools to be given fair funding under the new formula.
He said: “Fair Funding was always about schools in Devon getting more money – not having money taken away.
“My view is Devon’s under-resourced schools have produced outstanding results for long enough and now deserve to be properly funded so they can give our children an even better education.
“No school in Devon should lose money as a result of these proposals.
“I welcome the fact that the Government grasped the nettle of fair funding after so many other administrations failed to tackle the issue. “But it is vital that the Government looks out for our rural areas and does not approve a funding formula devised by civil servants in London who aren’t fully aware of the realities of providing a good education for the children of Devon.”
Mr McInnes said: “We need to work together with our family of schools in Devon otherwise we risk being picked off one by one.
“This was always supposed to be about fairer funding for under-resourced schools in rural areas.
“We are closer to the prize now than we’ve been after such a long battle but we must keep up the fight to ensure all our children benefit from this major overhaul of the funding system.”