David Davis discusses school funding during visit to Brough Primary School


As reported in The Hull Daily Mail:
Pupils relish chance to quiz MP over funding during visit to primary

Funding for schools was among the issues raised by pupils when an MP visited their primary.

The East Riding is the lowest-funded area out of 150 authorities nationally and pupils did not miss the chance to quiz MP David Davis about school funding when he visited Brough Primary School.

The Haltemprice and Howden MP was invited to the school as part of the national Primary Futures scheme, which encourages youngsters to think about careers.

The Tory MP said: “Primary Futures is a terrific idea. It encourages and inspires youngsters to want to have an idea about what their future should be. In my case, it’s public service.”

Mr Davis said he was quizzed about wide-ranging issues, including school funding.

He said: “We suffer because of the national funding formula that really penalises us because we don’t have as much deprivation as other areas.

“The formula overstates that really, that’s where the battle is over the formula.

“No one would dispute they have to help other areas with large areas of deprivation, but it doesn’t mean you have to penalise other areas such as the East Riding.”

Headteacher Isabel Peirson told the Mail redundancies will be unavoidable in schools unless funding improves.
She said: “We always struggle with finances because, obviously, being the lowest funded local authority nationally, that puts us under a lot of pressure.
“Our biggest concern is making sure we have sufficient funding for all those children who have those additional needs.

“As we are in a growth area in Brough, the pupil numbers are the highest they have ever been and, obviously, pupil numbers drive the funding. It all hinges on how many children come through in the future.”

Mrs Peirson said schools are under increasing pressure because of low funding from the Government.
She said: “It’s a huge amount of pressure. Obviously, we have this high expectation for pupils to do better and better, but we will have reduced resources to enable us to do so.”

John Killeen, East Riding branch secretary of the National Association of Head Teachers, invited Mr Davis to visit Brough.

Mr Killeen insisted it is never too soon to give children an insight into the working world.

He said: “The idea of the visit was to raise the aspirations of pupils by encouraging them to make connections between their learning and their futures.

“It also gave them the chance to find out what it’s like to be an MP.”

Primary Futures enables schools to access a vast network of people from different backgrounds and professions.

People from archaeologists to zoologists have signed up to inspire pupils.
The initiative has been developed by school leaders’ association the NAHT, in partnership with the Education and Employers charity.
Primary Futures is free to all state primary schools as part of the Inspiring The Future programme.