Welsh Government challenged on education funding

The funding formula for education funding across Wales is a “quarter of a century out of date” and in urgent need of review – South Wales Central AM Andrew RT Davies has said.


Mr Davies – who along with other local representatives is pushing for fairer funding for Vale schools – described the fact the Vale Council have to make up a £3million shortfall from other budgets as “scandalous” .


Despite this – education spending in the Vale remains the lowest in Wales – leading to calls for the way funding is calculated to change.


He pointed out that the sparsity formula is based on data from the 1991 Census – while others have also been in place for a considerable period.


The special education formula – last reviewed in 2006 – and the primary and secondary formulae – which were last updated in 2003 – were two such examples, he said.


Mr Davies said, “Vale parents are up in arms that education funding is the lowest in Wales – especially since it is calculated by a formula over 25 years’ out of date.


“Most people would agree circumstances change a lot in that time – so it’s clear the system is in urgent need of review.


“Things simply cannot be left as they are – because it leaves to gross unfairness where Vale schools are underfunded.


“We have a situation where the Vale spends £3million more on education each year than the Welsh Government provides – yet we still have the lowest spending per pupil in Wales.


“It is scandalous the system has not changed – and this cannot continue. Ministers must get a grip and take urgent action to reform the funding formula.”