Worle schools worst off for funding

PUBLISHED: 07:00 28 January 2011

(c) Adam Gault

WORLE secondary schools are among the worst funded in the country - prompting headteachers to demand a 'more level playing field' for their students.

Figures released with the key stage four results show that North Somerset as a whole is one of the poorest local education authorities in relation to the cash it gets from central government.

But Priory headteacher Neville Coles and Worle deputy headteacher Jane Barry say they cannot understand why their schools then receive less funding per pupil than any others in the district when North Somerset Council allocates the money.

In 2009/10 students at Worle Community School received an average of £4,373 in grant funding from central Government and those at Priory £4,408, compared to an average of £6,502 at other non-London schools in the country.

Even in North Somerset, Wyvern Community pupils received £6,803 per student, Broadoak Mathematics and Computing College £5,028 and St Katherine’s School in Pill £5,726.

Other North Somerset secondary schools fell well below the national average.

Mr Coles said: “These newly-published figures make the position very clear and it is right that they are in the public domain.

“Given the comparative paucity of resources we are doing an outstanding job at Priory in getting the great end results we do.

“We hope, at a national level, someone will look at this.”

Mrs Barry also called for funding to be fairer and for there to be ‘a more even playing field’ when it comes to allocating money.

A North Somerset Council spokesman said: “From April 2011, there will be a new pupil premium allocated against free school meals pupils.

“The coalition has said that it will review the funding of schools and is keen to explore a national funding approach. This is likely to be consulted on during the next funding cycle.”

Cllr Jeremy Blatchford, executive member for children and young people’s services, added: “We are one of the lowest funded authorities in the country and have been arguing for fairer funding for years.

“There is no evidence to prove that funding is linked to performance.”

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