Cheltenham MP Alex Chalk has been singled out for praise for his work on school funding by the Education Secretary. Justine Greening MP paid tribute to Mr Chalk during a debate in Parliament as she announced “historic” reforms to education funding.
Mr Chalk has been leading a national campaign by the f40 for a fairer deal for Cheltenham’s schools. The f40 represent the 40 worst funded local authority areas in the country.
Alex Chalk explained: “For more than 20 years Gloucestershire pupils have received less national funding than pupils in other parts of the country. The old Labour formula saw children in London’s Tower Hamlets receive nearly double the sum allocated to Cheltenham’s pupils.”
The new formula announced by the Education Secretary will see the basic per-pupil funding for secondary schools in Cheltenham rise from around £4,200 to £4,800, and increase to £3,500 for primary pupils. On top of the baseline, schools will receive financial support for individual pupils with a variety of additional needs, raising the final sum by thousands of pounds.
Announcing the funding formula in Parliament, Justine Greening said: “I would like to take this opportunity to pay tribute to him (Alex Chalk) for all he has done in his local community and, of course, with the f40 group to help to improve the formula and to make sure that what was, as he says, an incredibly complex piece of work ended up in the right place. We have today a strong national funding formula that can work for some very different schools and communities throughout the country, and I am proud that we are finally able to launch it.”
Alex Chalk said “This is a huge step forward. Of course there’s much more to do. But after so many years of being at the back of the funding queue, this really is a positive move for education in Cheltenham.”