Pressing the Education Secretary on the impact of the planned changes to the school funding formula, Imran lambasts the Government’s plans amid claims they will worsen Bradford’s education crisis.
As part of their plan to create a fairer funding formula that would see pupils across the UK receive more equal amounts of funding, the Government is driving forward with the Tory-Lib Dem coalition’s proposal announced in July 2014 and the proposals in the 2015 Conservative Manifesto to introduce a national funding formula, and following next weeks’ Autumn Statement, they intend to announce that they will begin consulting on recommended changes early in the new year.
Bradford would be particularly hard hit by any changes due to the high numbers of pupils with multiple needs that allow schools to gain additional needs funding, and according to Bradford Council’s Schools Finance Manager, Bradford’s schools on average receive £3892 per primary pupil and £5637 per secondary pupil, whilst nationally the average is £2326 per primary pupil and £2458 per secondary pupil. Figures based on the model proposed by the F40 campaign group also shows that each Bradford school would lose around £175 per pupil.
As part of his campaign and commitment to oversee improvements in the education system in Bradford, Bradford East’s MP, Imran has come out strongly opposed to the planned changes, declaring that they would worsen Bradford’s education crisis and that he will be contacting the Secretary of State for Education, Nicky Morgan MP to put his case forward for Bradford to be protected from the changes.
Imran also recently met with the Minister for Schools, Nick Gibb MP where he raised a number of matters around education, including the Council’s new education strategy, strategies to nurture the leadership teams in schools, and the implications for Bradford of a change to the Schools’ Funding Formula.
Speaking on the National Schools’ Funding Formula, Imran said:
“It is clear to me, the council and teachers in Bradford that any changes to the funding formula that would see the city’s schools lose much needed funding would worsen Bradford’s education crisis, and to press forward with changes to the formula would be an attack on Bradford’s education system that we have not seen since the days when Michael Gove was in office as Education Secretary.
“I have already raised the issue of the funding formula and the impact that it would have on Bradford with the Minister for Schools, but considering the imminent opening of the consultation process, I have urgently requested to meet with the Education Secretary to explain to her just how detrimental changes would be to Bradford.
“It is however vital that if changes do go ahead, and I certainly do not wish for them to so, then Bradford’s education system and schools with their high numbers of pupils with additional needs and from deprived backgrounds, are protected to ensure that the work that has been done by the council is not reversed by short-sighted Government decisions.”
Also speaking on the funding formula, Councillor Susan Hinchcliffe, Executive Member for Education at Bradford Council said:
“I'm very concerned about the Government's mutterings on the Fairer Funding Formula. From all the calculations I've seen, the new formula would be anything but fair for places like Bradford. We have one of the fastest growing youth populations in the country and on top of that we have a high number of children who are accommodated in mainstream education with additional needs. Schools in Bradford are already under huge pressure to deliver. I would interpret any move by Government to decimate their funding at this time to be a direct attack on the life chances of Bradford children.”