In our rural communities, our schools are of vital importance, making an essential contribution to community cohesion and providing a focal point for parents and children alike to meet and socialise, while also ensuring the best possible start for our children.
Unfortunately, long term neglect by the last Labour Government meant that rural areas like Torridge and West Devon had fallen far behind more densely populated urban constituencies in terms of education funding, and schools in Devon received many hundreds of pounds less per pupil than the national average.
After many years of campaigning for this historic injustice to be redressed with a revision of the national funding formula, I was pleased to see the last Government act decisively to achieve that objective and introduce a system based on based on a fair and rational assessment of the needs of pupils.
In 2015 to 2016, the former Conservative led Coalition took the first huge step towards delivering fairer national education funding by changing the way Westminster allocates funding to local areas. For schools in Torridge and West Devon this will mean an additional £194 per pupil, an excellent first step in our Fair Funding campaign.
I will strive to ensure that this Conservative Government enshrines this principle in a fully reformed national funding formula, and continues the process of repairing the broken system we inherited, so that rural and coastal areas will no longer suffer from vastly less financial provision relative to the mean.
Please see the press releases and links below to see some of the work Geoffrey has done to campaign for fairer funding for schools.