To ask the Secretary of State for Education, what recent representations she has received on funding for rural schools; and if she will make a statement.
22 December 2014
Since June 2014, Ministers in the Department for Education have received 5 letters and have had one meeting with an MP on the subject of funding for rural schools.The Government recognises the importance of rural schools, many of which are small schools, and the need to maintain access to a local school in rural areas. The Department has enabled local authorities and Schools Forums to support small rural schools by allowing funding to be allocated via a ‘sparsity factor’. Sparsity funding is additional funding given to small schools serving pupils who would have to travel a long distance to any alternative school.
In addition, the Department has recently made an additional £390 million available to the least fairly funded local authorities through the introduction of minimum funding levels. Many local authorities with small rural schools have benefited from this policy, and will see increases in their per-pupil funding.