MILLIONS of pounds of government funding have been allocated to schools in Wiltshire and Gloucestershire in an effort make school funding more fair.
The funding comes as part of a £390 million boost from the government, hailed as the biggest step towards fairer schools funding in a decade.
Gloucestershire schools will receive a sizeable £12.2million increase in funding in 2015-2016, meaning a total of £162 more per pupil.
Schools in the Wiltshire will receive a boost of £5.7million in the 2015-2016 year, translating to an increase of £97 per pupil.
The £390million is £40million more than was announced in March and ensures that no local council’s funding per pupil will be reduced from its present level.
Local authorities now allocate almost 90% of schools funding based on the needs of pupils compared with to only 71% in 2012-13.
Schools Minister David Laws believes that the funding will go a long way to removing the historic unfairness of the funding system.
He said: “This increase in funding will make a real difference on the ground to schools across the South West without creating instability, uncertainty or cuts in any local area.”
“Crucially, we have ensured no local authority will see a reduction in its budget as a result of our reforms, while local authorities in the least fairly funded areas will see an increase.”
These reforms aim to ensure an immediate increase to the least fairly funded local councils and will pave the way for the implementation of a national funding formula during the next Parliament.
Cotswold MP Geoffrey Clifton-Brown welcomed the announcement but suggested that it was only the first step toward making funding fair.
He said: “This announcement comes as a result of methodical and consistent lobbying by the F40 group of lowest funded local authorities. I have always played an active part in this group, lobbying for a national funding formula.”
Also commenting on the funding, North Wiltshire MP James Gray said: “Children in North Wiltshire deserve the very best schools so they can gain the skills they need to get on in life. Labour failed to address the unfairness in our funding system which meant that our local schools haven’t received the funding they deserved.”
“That’s why I welcome this cash boost. It means our schools will get the resources they are entitled to and will help improve the quality of education for all children in North Wiltshire.”