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8 March 2011, 13:11
Southampton’s education bosses are celebrating after learning that the city’s schools will get a £4.5 million increase in funding.
The sum represents a 3.4 per cent increase for schools in Southampton, while authorities across the country are seeing funding for other services fall.
The news comes as a huge boost to education in the city, after Southampton schools recorded their most successful exam results ever last summer.
Councillor Jeremy Moulton, Southampton City Council’s new Cabinet Member for Children’s Services, said he was delighted with the news. Cllr Moulton said: “This really is fantastic news for Southampton’s schools. The Pupil Premium is a big boost to local schools and it will mean extra funding going to those schools that have pupils from the most disadvantaged backgrounds.
“In the past Southampton has got a raw deal and has unfairly missed out on the levels of funding and investment needed. So it is pleasing to see that the Government has recognised the education challenges in Southampton.”
“Our schools are heading in the right direction. Exam results are improving all the time and reached record highs in 2010. This funding will support our drive to help our schools continue improving standards.
Southampton City Council estimates that as well as a small increase to its overall grant to schools (an increase of around £1.75m as part of the Dedicated Schools Grant), schools will also get new funding of £2.8 million for the Pupil Premium, which is mainly based on the number of children in the city eligible for free school meals.
This increase in school funding is particularly welcome given that the final Local Government Finance Settlement announced in January confirmed that the council’s loss of formula grant for all other services amounts to 10.1 per cent.