North Herefordshire MP Bill Wiggin wrote to the Government this week after Herefordshire Council received a £2 million education boost.
Given Herefordshire Council’s controversial school transport consultation Bill Wiggin MP decided to write to the Rt Hon Michael Gove MP, Secretary of State for Education, to ask if the extra funding could be used to pay for school transport.
In December 2013 the Government announced an extra £2.35 billion on top of the £5 billion pot to create more school places between 2014 and 2017. Herefordshire Council’s share of the funding is £1,732,894.
Bill Wiggin MP for North Herefordshire said: “Whilst I welcome this additional education funding I have also been contacted by many of my constituents about Herefordshire Council’s school transport changes which will reportedly save £250,000.
“I decided to write to the Education Secretary to confirm if the Council could use this additional funding from central government to cover that saving instead of making the proposed changes.
“I am also still pressing the Government for a fairer allocation of spending on rural areas. Before Christmas I met with the Prime Minister and pressed him on the unfairness of financing for rural schools compared with urban schools per capita.
“However it is still great news for young people in North Herefordshire that extra funding is being provided to ensure every child has a place at school so that they can fulfil their potential.
“This is part of the Government’s long-term plan to create an education system that gives young people who want to work hard the skills they need to get on in life and secure a better future.”
It is the first time that councils have had 3-year allocations of funding to spend on school places, so Herefordshire Council can plan ahead and ensure every child has a school place. This Government has already created 260,000 new school places and this announcement means thousands more are on the way.
Education Secretary Michael Gove said: “‘Labour were warned repeatedly that they hadn’t done enough to plan for a growing population – and once more it’s been left to the Coalition Government to clean up the mess.
“Labour cut 200,000 primary places, slashed the amount spent on areas of population growth, and let immigration soar – and all this in the middle of a baby boom.
“The Coalition Government has, however, taken swift action to repair the damage. We have more than doubled funding for new school places and we are also setting up great new free schools, which are giving parents a choice of high quality school places in areas Labour neglected.
“Ed Miliband is too weak to apologise for the shortage of school places his government left behind and too weak to stand up to the unions and back free schools.”