School funding

Local MP, Geoffrey Cox QC, the Government’s Attorney General, has expressed his “quiet satisfaction” at today’s announcement that Torridge and West Devon’s schools are to benefit from a massive boost in pupil funding. After regular visits to local schools, meeting teachers, pupils and parents, the MP took the case for significant improvements in Devon’s education funding to Westminster and was part of the Conservative Cabinet that decided on the move.

The Conservative Government has confirmed that Devon’s schools will receive nearly 5% more funding next year as part of the recent multi-billion investment in primary and secondary education. This is to be followed by further rises over the next three years.

Last month, Geoffrey Cox QC MP welcomed the new funding, saying that he hoped the commitment that every secondary school pupil will receive a minimum of £5,000 next year and every primary school pupil will receive a minimum of £4,000 by 2021-22 would reassure parents of the Government’s determination to deliver the best for our children.

Today, it can be revealed that pupils in Torridge & West Devon are set to benefit from funding above the national minimum with primary school pupils receiving an average £5,267 per pupil and secondary schools benefitting from£5,433 per pupil in 2020-21.

The national budget for schools and high needs is to be increased by a total of over £14 billion over three years, rising to £52.2 billion by 2022-23. Schools and local authorities have now found out how the first part of that investment - £2.6 billion - will be allocated for the coming year.

The extra money, available from April, will ensure that per-pupil funding will “level up” resources for areas which have been historically under-funded such as Devon.

Commenting on the announcement, Geoffrey Cox said: “The above average per pupil funding for schools in Torridge and West Devon demonstrates this Government’s commitment to level up funding for Devon’s schoolchildren and to tackle the historic unfairness that meant that in 2010, they received nearly £400 a year less than the national average. Since 2010, that disparity has decreased to £270 but it was still too much.

“Responsible management of our economy has meant that we have all but eliminated the annual deficit, and so as a Government we have decided to do something about the unfairness now that we can.

“The nearly 5% per pupil funding boost next year will mean that every school in Devon will receive a significant budget increase. It will mean that our secondary schools will receive hundreds of thousands of pounds more next year, and our primary schools, tens of thousands, giving teachers, parents and pupils the certainty to plan, and helping to raise standards. I would like to thank all those who, over the last two years, have written, invited me to their schools and explained how this problem affected them. I hope they will now feel that they have been listened to.”