Warning funding increase for Crawley schools 'will barely touch the sides'

Henry Smith MP has hailed confirmation from the Department for Education that funding for schools in Crawley is set to increase in 2023-24 by 4.5 per cent to almost £100 million.

Overall, the Government is increasing core schools funding by £1.5 billion in 2023-24, building on the £4 billion increase already provided this year.

Mr Smith said: “All of our young people should be able to receive a top-quality education, wherever they grow up in our country, and an important part of this is ensuring that our schools are given such financial support.

“This record funding for Crawley schools will give them vital resources to raise attainment, provide the right support to all pupils and students, increase teacher pay, and continue to address the challenges of pandemic response and recovery.

Henry Smith MP welcomes £100 million funding for local schools- West Sussex Labour responds to news

“All of our young people should be able to receive a top-quality education, wherever they grow up in our country, and an important part of this is ensuring that our schools are given such financial support.”

Through the National Funding Formula (NFF), which Mr Smith campaigned for alongside other West Sussex MPs, the average Crawley school’s NFF pupil-led per pupil funding will increase by three percent in 2023-24.

Alison Cornell, deputy leader and group secretary for West Sussex Labour, replied: “Of course any additional school funding is always welcome. And, who can disagree with Henry when he says ‘all of our young people should be able to receive a top-quality education’. But Henry is celebrating a 4.5 per cent increase when inflation is coming in at over eight per cent.

“With a sector and workforce having borne the brunt of austerity cuts, including frozen pay, for over ten years, this increase will barely touch the sides. There is no surplus in the system, and our schools, like everyone else, are vulnerable to the cost-of-living crisis.

“The government is very good at announcing big figures with little or no accompanying assessment of the need. So yes, all our children deserve the best, and right now that means proper leadership, proper funding, and an end to austerity cuts.”

The Department for Education has confirmed that it continues to provide year-on-year increases to school funding. The total core school budget for England will rise to £56.8 billion by 2024-25; a £7 billion cash increase compared with 2021-22.