Next week sees the start of the new school year and I wish every one of our local schools every success, building on this year’s great exam results. While there is more money going into education than ever before, the large growth of pupil numbers has meant that per pupil funding has fallen. When this is added to the imbalance of school funding across the country that built up under previous governments, this has seen financial pressures in schools in the south of England outside of London. As a school governor myself in Crawley, this is something that I am very aware of.
The new Conservative Government led by Boris Johnson has pledged to increase funding in primary and secondary schools so that every child gets the best possible education. Per capita per pupil funding is to rise to a minimum everywhere of £4,000 for primary school pupils and £5,000 for secondary school pupils. Locally, we continue to make a strong case to government for fairer funding so that schools in inner London and the north of England do not receive much greater amounts than those in counties like West Sussex.
My party is determined to give every child the world class education they deserve and to better fund our schools. Under the Conservatives we’ve seen more children getting a better education, with 1.9 million more children attending officially rated good and outstanding schools than in 2010.
There has been a dramatic improvement in children’s reading, which is vital to make sure they are prepared for their future. England has risen to joint eighth place in the ‘2016 Progress in International Reading Literacy Study’, up from joint tenth in 2011 and the historic low of 19th under Labour. With phonics reforms, we now have over 160,000 more six-year olds on track to become fluent readers compared to 2012.
Unlike Labour who put their ideology before what works for children, I don’t believe in politicising education. Sadly, Labour’s ideologically driven policy to scrap academies and free schools fails to recognise that these popular schools help to drive up overall standards.
Councillor Duncan Crow, Leader of Crawley Borough Council Conservative Group
28th August 2019