06 DEC 2017

Fighting for more school funding

New buildings are needed at Dover Grammar School for Girls – and I am campaigning to secure funding. The main school building, which dates back to 1910, suffered major flooding after a water leak earlier this year.

The school, whose students achieve some of the best results in the country, deserves better facilities. I am writing to Education Secretary Justine Greening calling for the school to be considered under the Priority School Building Programme.

Headteacher Robert Benson last week showed me some of the damage caused by the leak. I also saw the "temporary" History block – which dates back to the 1960s and has clearly seen better days.

Year after year, the hard-working students at Dover Grammar School for Girls achieve some of the best results in the country. In recent years they have even got better results than Eton. The current building certainly has charm – yet it's clear they need to modernise some facilities. That's why I'm writing to Justine Greening, asking for the school to receive the boost in funding it deserves.

I have also been fighting for schools in Dover and Deal to receive an immediate cash boost from the new National Funding Formula. The new formula was demanded by headteachers and education experts who said the old one was outdated and unfair, leaving schools in places like Dover and Deal "historically underfunded". It will be phased in within two years, with Local Authorities deciding allocations until then. Charlie has asked Kent County Council for it to be adopted immediately, giving Dover Grammar School for Girls an extra £300,000 next year.

The old funding system was letting our area down. We were receiving thousands less per pupil than other parts of the country. I have raised this with ministers many times, and they were right to take action. Schools across Dover and Deal will now benefit with millions more each September for years to come.

Kent County Council is currently consulting on local funding formulas for the next two years.

If the new National Funding Formula came into effect this September, Dover Grammar School for Girls would get a cash boost of 10.4%. Astor College would get 11.1% more, Dover Grammar School for Boys 9.4% more, St Edmund's Catholic School 9.1% and Goodwin Academy 8.4% more. Across the constituency the increase would be 7.2%, or £1.54 million.

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Charlie Elphicke

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