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School funding dispute

Following Prime Minister Johnsons visit to a school in Taunton, the Labour Parliamentary candidate for Bridgwater & West Somerset Oliver Thornton spoke out over the issue of school funding.

He wanted to point out that West Monkton Primary School will continue to suffer underfunding even after the cash injection to the education system promised by the prime Minister.

There is a detailed article on the funding of primary schools in Somerset in the November edition of The Leveller®. West Monton does not feature in our article, but plenty of other Somerset schools do.

However West Monkton is among the very worst funded schools in the country (as our article points out a number of Somerset schools do though). There are over 20,192 schools for whom we now have figures for their funding. Not just for this year but for 2020/21 too, which means after the new money promised by the Johnson Government. The figures obtained by The Leveller® are per pupil funding provided to us by the House of Commons Library.

West Monkton will receive funding of £3,716 per pupil. This puts it firmly in the bottom 15% of schools in England and Wales.

It is far from being the worst funded school in Somerset. But compare the funding per pupil they get of £3,716 per pupil with St Bernadette Catholic Primary School. This is  the second worst funded school in Boris Johnson’s constituency of Uxbridge. St Bernadettes will receive £3,908 per pupil in 2020/21.

Oliver Thornton believes “Over 50% of schools in Somerset will continue to suffer whilst at best others will struggle to “improve” to 2015 figures. Since 2010 austerity has blighted Somerset schools and SCCs ability to support them by slashing school budgets and council services. The children, parents and employers in the County deserve much better from Central Govt. There needs to be radical change to the way education is delivered.”

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