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Gove pledges fairer funding during schools visit

Worcester Editorial 13th Jan, 2014 Updated: 19th Oct, 2016

EDUCATION Secretary Michael Gove has vowed to make sure the county’s schools receive a fairer funding deal.

Mr Gove made the pledge during a visit to Gorse Hill Community Primary School and Bishop Perowne CE College in Worcester last Friday (January 10).

Worcestershire is one of the lowest funded Local Education Authorities (LEA) in the country, with schools in Birmingham receiving more than £1,000 more to spend on its students a year.

The disparity has led to a number of head teachers and politicians, including Worcester MP Robin Walker, joining f40, which has been campaigning for many years for changes in the way the Government allocates money to schools.

Mr Gove told the Observer steps will be taken to address the problem before the 2015 General Election.

“This can’t go on,” he said. “It takes time before you can get everyone funded fairly, but the unfairness that Robin Walker has been campaigning to change has been going on for too long.

“The very first time I visited Worcester with Robin he took me to a brilliant local school but he also explained that it could do even better if it was funded in a fairer way and the Chancellor of the Exchequer has said the money is going to be there in order to begin to readdress the balance.

“It will take time before Worcester is funded as fairly as other parts of the country, but we will be making steps towards that journey before the election.”

Mr Walker said he was “very pleased” to hear Mr Gove’s comments on fairer funding and he believes the county’s schools will start to see a difference in the 2014/15 financial year.

He added: “I think our schools are already doing a very good job, but a change in funding will mean we will be more able to compete with places like Birmingham in terms of paying the best teachers and making sure they have the best facilities and the resources to give children the best possible education.

“I don’t expect it to come all at once and we are unlikely to jump up to the level of Birmingham, but if we are at least heading in the right direction it will show that we have not just won the argument we have actually got the goods.”

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