Mel Stride

    CENTRAL DEVON MP Mel Stride has described the additional funding that will be provided by the Government for Devon’s schools next year as a major step forward for education provision in our county. Of the 150 education authorities in the country, Devon is within the top third of the biggest gainers, receiving an increase in per pupil funding across primary and secondary schools of 4.86%. The rise is worth over £19million in total and equates to a £228 increase in per pupil funding for primary schools and £184 increase in per pupil funding for secondary schools. An additional £5.6million is being provided for pupils with special education needs. On top of the extra funding for Devon, the unitary authorities of Plymouth and Torbay are receiving an additional £9million and £4million respectively.

    Mr Stride, who has campaigned for over a decade for more funding for Devon’s schools, including before he became an MP in 2010, said:

    “Education funding should continue to be prioritised so that the most disadvantaged areas of our country receive the most and this is rightly still the case. However, previous funding calculations haven’t always properly considered the costs and challenges of running schools in rural counties like Devon and £228 extra per pupil for our primary schools and £184 for our secondary schools is a significant improvement. For example, Okehampton Primary School will receive around £120,000 more in funding next year. It will be down to each individual headteacher to decide how to use the extra funding, but whether they choose to recruit more staff, buy more classroom equipment or resources, or invest in more teacher training, the funding will make a big difference.”

    The £228 increase in per pupil funding in primary schools for 2020-21 will be followed by a further £250 increase the following year, taking funding for primary schools in Devon from £3,522 to £4,000 over the next two years.