Tunbridge Wells schools to receive a windfall in education funding pledge

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The three-year funding was confirmed in a Government spending review which said every secondary school will be allocated a minimum of £5,000 for each pupil next year.

In addition, every primary school will be allocated at least £3,750 per pupil, rising to £4,000 per pupil next year.

But a study of how regions will gain from the new minimum funding threshold reveals that more than 90 per cent of schools receiving a boost of more than £100 a year per pupil are in Conservative areas such as Kent, Essex and the Southwest.

Out of the 153 constituencies set to receive funding, the majority (93 per cent) are Tory held, which critics argue makes the pledge an ‘election bribe’ as schools in the North of England are set to lose out, despite being some of the worst performers in the country.

Grammar schools are also set to benefit the most from the cash boost, and as Tunbridge Wells and Tonbridge are home to six grammars between them it will see more of the money compared to areas with fewer selective secondary schools.

The analysis by the Sunday Times found that Tunbridge Wells is one of biggest winners of the pledged funding, benefiting from an average bump of £400 or more per pupil, based on 2018-19 funding figures.

Layla Moran, Liberal Democrat education spokeswomen, said: “I think this is absolutely Boris Johnson preparing for a potential election.”

She added: “Lots of grammar schools are going to get this money and the Northeast, which has few outstanding schools, also does not benefit.”

The move towards more school funding followed a campaign by parents, teachers and unions who are fighting to fix the cash crisis engulfing England’s classrooms.

Forming part of the £14billion in education spending, is the increase in teacher pay and pension contributions.

Starting salaries could rise by up to £6,000 under new government plans to reform teacher pay.

The Department for Education (DfE) said salaries for new teachers were set to rise to £30,000 by 2022-23, making them among the most competitive in the graduate labour market.

The government said the investment announced by the prime minister last week would ensure that pay could be increased for all teachers.

Education Secretary Gavin Williamson said: “This £14bn funding increase – the largest cash boost in a generation – means our schools can continue to raise standards and build an education system that boosts productivity, improves social mobility and equips children with the skills and knowledge they need to succeed in the bright future that lies ahead.”

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