Dr Dan Poulter MP calls for fairer government funding for Suffolk schools

Ipswich, Suffolk. Day two of the Suffolk Show at Trinity Park in Ipswich - Dr Dan Poulter MP at the second day of the Suffolk Show''Photograph by Mark Bullimore. Credit Mandatory.t: 07813 799 343. e: mail@eaps.org.uk. w: http://www.eaps.org.uk ENGANL00120110606144455

Ipswich, Suffolk. Day two of the Suffolk Show at Trinity Park in Ipswich - Dr Dan Poulter MP at the second day of the Suffolk Show''Photograph by Mark Bullimore. Credit Mandatory.t: 07813 799 343. e: mail@eaps.org.uk. w: http://www.eaps.org.uk ENGANL00120110606144455

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A Member of Parliament representing north Suffolk has joined more than 100 of his colleagues in calling on central government to deliver fairer education funding.

Dr Dan Poulter, the MP for Central Suffolk and North Ipswich, was one of 111 rural MPs in Britain from all political parties to sign an open letter to Prime Minister David Cameron, asking for reform to the school funding formula to a fairer model based on pupil needs.

The ten best funded parts of the country receive an average grant of £6,297 for each pupil, compared with £4,361 per pupil in Suffolk - not much higher than the £4,208 per pupil in the ten most poorly funded areas.

However, under the new proposals, Suffolk schools would gain an additional £178.06 for each pupil per year.

Dr Poulter said: “I have had many meetings with headteachers and governors of schools across Central Suffolk and North Ipswich and it is widely acknowledged that the existing funding model is unfair to rural counties like Suffolk.

“At a time of public spending restraint it is more important than ever that funding is allocated based on need.

“I want to make sure that our children and grandchildren studying in Suffolk’s schools continue to have access to the best resources, buildings, and teaching as possible.

“This cross-party campaign is an important step in the right direction to achieve fairer funding for schools in Suffolk and I will continue to push the Government to deliver more money for pupils in Suffolk.”

The letter also suggests these new proposals could continue using the Dedicated Schools Grant to create blocks of funding for mainstream schools, high needs and Early Years, and enable local authorities to move money freely between the blocks.

It concludes: “We believe this formula can deliver a solution. Fairer funding is integral, and we urge you to deliver it.”