West Norfolk schools boosted by cash injection over three years
North West Norfolk MP Sir Henry Bellingham has welcomed the Prime Minister’s decision to make £14 billion available to schools over the next three years.
The funding is broken down into £2.6 billion for the next financial year, followed by £4.8bn the year after then £7.1bn in 2022/3.
Sir Henry said: “A lot of the ‘devil’ will be in the detail but I am nevertheless very confident this will make a fundamental difference to sorting out the current funding pressures across schools in both Norfolk and West Norfolk in particular.
“They [the government] have announced a starting salary of £30,000 by 2022/3 and this will help make teaching salaries amongst the most competitive in the graduate labour market.
“These announcements on pension and pay will have a highly beneficial impact on teacher’s morale and retention.”
He said funding gaps need to be evened with London and mentioned the challenges around special educational needs caused by the shortages of Special Educational Need Co-ordinators (SENCOs).
"The £700 million earmarked for special needs is obviously welcome as well because this is one area of particular pressure among Norfolk schools," Sir Henry said.
"I plan to work closely with the Minister to make sure they now put in place a programme to train more SENCOs."
Sir Henry was speaking during a debate in the House of Commons, which was opened by Clive Lewis, the MP for Norwich South.
"Over the past years I have received a great deal of constructive feedback from heads and teachers across the constituency and also from Educate Norfolk, which is a group of primary and secondary school headteachers," Sir Henry continued.
"Time and again, the message has been put to me loud and clear that the funding discrepancies between Norfolk and places in inner London needed to be evened out.
"In my judgement this recent announcement is going a long way towards securing exactly this.
"I obviously look forward to working with heads and governors across the constituency to see how the funding announcement is implemented on a school-by-school basis."