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New funding for Macclesfield schools is 'step in right direction'

But headteachers warn that there is still a postcode lottery for schoolchildren.

Tytherington School headteacher Manny Botwe

Schools will get more money in a new funding formula announced by the government - but Macclesfield pupils are still part of a ‘postcode lottery’.

Headteachers across the town slammed government plans announced in January which would see their funding cut by £1m, making schools in Cheshire East the worst funded in the country.

But now the government has issued a new funding formula, which will see the amount of money per pupil increase, with a minimum per pupil funding level.

Manny Botwe, headteacher at Tytherington School, fought for fairer funding alongside headteachers Peter Rubery from Fallibroome Academy, Tony Billings from All Hallows Catholic College and David Waugh from Poynton High.

He welcomed the move to increase funding, but claimed there is still a postcode lottery in Macclesfield.

He said: “Whilst the recent announcement on school funding is a step in the right direction, I think headteachers are still cautious. It is better than the original proposals, but huge disparities still exist. The devil will be in the detail. One of my fundamental objections to the funding formula still remains. I simply cannot understand why a postcode lottery still exists with school funding.

“Why should children living in Cheshire East be funded at significantly lower levels than other local authorities.”

The national funding formula was announced by Education Secretary Justine Greening earlier this year aimed at increasing money targeted at schools with additional needs.

It means that in 2019-20 all secondary schools will attract at least £4,800 per pupil and all primary schools will attract at least £3,500 per pupil. Final decisions on how money is given out to Macclesfield schools will be taken by Cheshire East. But every school will attract at least 0.5per cent more per pupil in 2018-19, and 1pc more in 2019-20.

Coun Rachel Bailey, leader of Cheshire East Council, welcomed the funding but said the details of the funding formula need to be investigated further.

She said: “It’s important, however, that we look at the detail behind the headlines, before we can determine whether fairness for our local schools has been addressed fully.”

Macclesfield MP David Rutley said: “I am pleased that the latest statement made by Justine Greening confirms that schools in Cheshire East will benefit from additional funding over the next two years, with per-pupil spending at local secondary schools set to increase to at least £4,800 in 2019-20.”

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