Education and School Funding

Education is key for individual life success and for the success of our economy. We need a National Funding Formula that is fair for all. I have made my concerns known on the unfairness of the current formula in Oxfordshire to the Secretary of State for Education on several occasions. I have asked questions of Minsters, arranged meetings for teachers and school governors with Ministers, and been part of the f40 schools funding group which campaigns for fairer funding in education.

Historically the National Funding Formula has disadvantaged rural schools and often successful schools which is simply unfair. Some improvements have been made but this needs to go further. I appreciate that there are areas where additional funding is needed to support underprivileged children but there also needs to be recognition of the costs associated with rural areas.

I recently presented Parliamentary Petitions on behalf of our communities in and around Henley and Woodcote to ask the Minister for clarification on some key issues. The petitions asked for a further funding review on schools in the constituency. It specifically asked: 

  • that the review should address how funding increases will be made in relation our schools in real terms beyond the amounts already being spent on schools
  • how to eliminate the gap between the best and lowest funded schools in the constituency
  • for a review of areas of inflationary pressures and situations where schools provide additional services such as social care, or deal with criminal behaviour to examine the real costs of providing education
  • for an assessment into the extent and access to capital funding
  • that the Basic Entitlement form an appropriate percentage of the National Funding Formula used locally
  • that the Department and Treasury must ensure that small primary schools in the constituency remain integral to their communities. 


John comments on proposal to abolish independent schools.

A number of local schools have asked their parents to write to me about the disastrous Labour policy to abolish independent schools. I have written to the Heads of these schools to let them know my views and I am happy to set them out here.

New Funding for Schools

John has welcomed the fact that the Prime Minister has anticipated the Comprehensive Spending Review, which sets Government expenditure for the next years, by announcing a £14bn cash injection spread over three years for our schools.

John receives Petition response from Minister

John has now received a formal response to the petitions he presented to Parliament on behalf of Gillotts School in Henley and Langtree in Woodcote earlier in the summer. 

John renews Petition to Government on school funding

I present a petition that has been signed by 406 residents of the village of Woodcote in my constituency and by surrounding villages that feed into the school of Langtree. The purpose of the petition is to try to remove once and for all issues over school funding. This is a similar petition to the one that I submitted in connection with Henley itself a little while ago.

Speech on school funding

On the Wednesday before the recess, I submitted a petition to the House that had been signed by just under 1,000 residents of Henley. I will not read it out, but I hope the Minister will agree that it is a friendly petition. I am concerned about the gap between the enormous figures that are increasingly being put into education and what is actually happening on the ground in schools.

Henley MP Petitions Government on School Funding

Yesterday I presented a public petition of just under 1000 signatures to Parliament. The petition called for a review of school funding to settle, once and for all, the various issues raised and to ensure that there is a fair distribution of funding for schools across the constituency.

Education funding

A number of people have written to me with observations on school funding. I am happy to respond with a detailed analysis.   I do of course recognise that there are cost pressures on schools and I am doing all I can to raise these with the Department of Education.