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13 March 2014, 12:28
An extra £350 million is set to be given to schools, including ones across Norfolk, as part of government attempts to make funding fairer for pupils.
Education Minister, David Laws, made the announcement today. He said the money will be available for 2015/16 and insisted no local authority or school will lose cash because of the proposal.
Mr Laws said it was the first step in the transition to fairer funding, with plans to go out to consultation and further announcements expected once future long-term spending proposals are outlined by the Government.
Making a statement on school funding in the Commons, Mr Laws said the cash would aim to address funding disparities at a national level.
He said: "In the spending review last summer, the Government announced that it would consult on how to allocate schools funding in a fairer way - and we will now do this.
"Today I can confirm in 2015/16 we will take the first huge step to delivering this fairer national funding, and 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 on historic levels of spending.''
Mr Laws said a multi-year process of moving all local authorities toward a single-funding formula would not take place until greater certainty could be given over long-term public spending plans.
He said estimates show 60 local authorities in England are expected to benefit from the extra £350 million funding for pupils in 2015/16.
The top 15, by percentage increase, are likely to be:
Cheshire West and Chester
But he continued: "In addition, areas such as Norfolk would receive an extra £16 million, Derbyshire £14 million, Surrey almost £25 million."
Commenting on today’s announcement, North Norfolk MP Norman Lamb said: “It is fantastic that for the first time a government is taking steps to address the historic underfunding of Norfolk’s education system.
"This £16m increase in funding will help improve education across the county, giving every child a fair start in life.”