I have just four schools left to visit of the forty-six in the Brentwood and Ongar constituency, having made it my mission when I was elected to visit every school in the patch to talk to headteachers, staff and pupils.
Every school I have visited faces different challenges and demands on the expertise and time of its staff, as well as on the limitations of its budget. Some heads are quietly comfortable with the funding coming into their school and feel they can manage their budget effectively. Other heads struggle to match the money they receive with the needs of their pupils, and the cost of the staff and resources needed to manage those needs.
School funding is an issue I have raised with Ministers and House of Commons debates on multiple occasions in the last two year. This is why I was so pleased with the additional £14 billion investment that the Prime Minister has committed to our schools over the next three years. This investment will benefit every school – with particularly significant gains for the lowest funded schools.
Per pupil funding for all schools can rise at least in line with inflation next year; and faster than inflation for most. It delivers on the Prime Minister’s pledge to ensure every secondary school receives at least £5,000 per pupil, and every primary school at least £3,750 next year.
This means funding will increase for Holly Trees Primary School, Ingrave Johnstone Church of England Voluntary Aided Primary School, Long Ridings Primary School, Shenfield St. Mary's Church of England Primary School, St Helen's Catholic Infant School, St Helen's Catholic Junior School, St Peter's Church of England Voluntary Aided Primary School, South Weald, St Thomas of Canterbury Church of England Aided Junior School, Anglo European School, Becket Keys Church of England Free School, Brentwood Ursuline Convent High School and St Martin's School.
Teachers’ pay will also increase with starting salaries going up by up to £6,000 - with the aim of reaching £30,000 by 2022-23. And post-16 education is also set to benefit by £400 million to help build the skills that our country needs as we prepare to leave the European Union.