West Lancashire MP Rosie Cooper challenged Education Secretary, Michael Gove over his School Funding Reform proposals that local headteachers fear could threaten the future of small primary schools in the area.
Speaking during Education Questions in the House of Commons, MP Rosie asked Mr Gove if it was the intention of his new funding proposals to threaten the future of small primary schools with less than 100 pupils on roll. In the MPs constituency it would affect 19 primary schools, the majority serving rural communities.
MP Rosie said:
“Headteachers of small primary schools in West Lancashire have voiced their concerns to me and in the local press over the Government’s funding reforms and what that will mean for small primary schools.
“These small primary schools provide a high quality education and are a vital part of our local communities. In rural areas of West Lancashire they are more than just a school to those communities.
“I wanted to make sure that the Education Secretary was aware of local headteachers’ fears for their schools and their voice was being heard in Parliament.
The Education Secretary sought to reassure MP Rosie that there would be a guaranteed sum of funding for good local primary schools.
In response MP Rosie added:
“I am cautiously encouraged by the reassurances offered by the Education Secretary on the funding floor that will guarantee a certain level of funding for small primary schools.
“However, I will remain cautious until we see the specific details and how it all works in practice. For now Mr Gove has been put on notice and I will fight hard against any proposal that threatens the long term future of small schools in West Lancashire.”