School heads join MP to call for fair share of funding

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HEADTEACHERS have penned a joint letter with Havant MP Alan Mak calling for a fair increase in constituency school funding.

The document was sent to Hampshire Schools Forum chairman Simon Walker, urging him to consider Havant’s ‘deprivation’ when voting to allocate £1.3bn of National Funding Formula cash at a meeting taking place tomorrow.

Forum representatives will choose one of three ways to spread the money – which will give Havant a 0.6, 0.3 or 0.7 per cent increase to its core budget under options A, B and C.

Undersigned by all six of Havant’s Hampshire county councillors and seven headteachers and principals, an extract of the letter said: ‘Given the Havant constituency’s areas of relative deprivation in contrast to the rest of Hampshire, its schools cannot afford to be neglected. An endorsement of option A or B would ignore the specific requirements of schools within poorer areas such as Havant.

‘Consequently we urge you to make the right decision – to prioritise the poorest areas of Hampshire and ensure they receive the support they need by endorsing option C.’

The letter outlined the lowest increase any other Hampshire constituency could receive as part of the vote is equal to the highest amount Havant could get under any option – with Gosport set to take a 0.7 per cent increase in its funding under option A.

It noted option C is the only choice under which no constituency – excluding Havant – would receive any less than a 0.1 per cent increase in its funding.

Speaking ahead of today’s vote, Conservative MP for Havant, Alan Mak, said: ‘Since I was first elected in 2015, I have been lobbying hard in Westminster to ensure our local schools have a fairer level of funding.

‘It’s important these gains are fairly distributed across the county, something the Schools Forum has the power alone to decide.’