Bexhill and Battle MP’s calls for more school funding

Huw Merriman MP at a recent visit to one of the schools in his constituency
Huw Merriman MP at a recent visit to one of the schools in his constituency

Bexhill and Battle’s MP Huw Merriman spoke in Parliament this week, urging Government ministers to deliver more funding for schools in his constituency.

The debate in the House of Commons had been called to discuss new changes to school funding.

The Government has opened up a consultation exercise, proposing a new mechanism, which it says will make funding fairer for schools across the country.

Mr Merriman pointed out, however, that the new funding proposals would see 23 of the schools in his rural constituency of Bexhill and Battle facing a reduction in funding with only 16 schools better off.

He has called on the Government to look again at the funding model and address the rising costs facing the sector.

Mr Merriman said: “The Government has protected the schools budget and, at £40bn, this country has never spent as much on schools.

“However, other positive Government policies, such as increases to wages, the living wage and pension contributions are increasing costs for our schools.

“We have to remember that the schools budget is mainly spent on staff so increases in wages, however welcome, need to be financed or they will end up being paid for from the classrooms.

“I recognise the need to balance the country’s books so I have urged the Government to take some of the £23bn it has ring-fenced for a new productivity fund and use it to help schools manage their budgets. A good education is a key to a prospering society so I hope it will be a good investment.”

In a related move, Mr Merriman said he has written to every state primary and secondary headteacher in his constituency to highlight the consultation exercise and to reassure schools he is lobbying the Government to deliver more.

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