Brid MP defends school funding changes

Greg Knight
Greg Knight

A MEMBER of Parliament has defended the Government’s changes to the school funding allocation expected in April.

Greg Knight, MP for East Yorkshire, spoke to the Free Press following news of Langtoft Primary School’s selection for review, along with Gembling Primary School and Dunswell Primary School.

According to East Riding of Yorkshire Council officers the East Riding Schools Forum approved a lump sum of funding to primary schools of £130,000.

The council has also said that due to changes to the funding formula, which has meant the council can only use 12 factors instead of 37 when allocating funding, the small schools allowance will no longer be available.

Mr Knight said: “Comments blaming the new funding formula for small school closures represent a misunderstanding of the funding formula changes. The minimum funding guarantee is the buffer that protects all schools from significant changes in their budgets and this will continue for all schools regardless of size.

“Small schools will continue to receive extra protection from falling pupil numbers as the new system will mean the lump sum subsidy they receive will be protected if their pupil numbers decrease.

“If the Council wish to close a school under their primary school rationalisation programme then this, of course, is another matter.”

East Riding of Yorkshire Council’s primary school rationalisation programme has been reducing the number of surplus places by closing or amalgamating schools which has freed up funding to be shared out between remaining schools.

The Council considers the changes to the national funding formula along with the high level of surplus places, will further pressurise schools in the East Riding which has led it to again consider the schools it can justify to maintain.

Paul Butler, inclusion and access manager for the council, said: “We will be consulting everyone who is affected by the reviews and take into account their views before presenting any proposals to the Cabinet of the council.”