SCHOOLS in Southend are to get a funding boost from the Government after years of campaigning from headteachers.

The national £14billion package introduced by the Government will see the minimum per pupil funding rise from £3,500 to £4,000 in primary schools, and from £4,800 to £5,000 for secondary students.

For Southend this means 19 schools will benefit, including 14 primary schools which will get an average increase of £309 per pupil, and five secondary schools getting an average of £162 per pupil.

Sir David Amess, MP for Southend West, said: “I am delighted that 19 local schools will be receiving extra funding.

“Earlier this year I joined both secondary school and primary school headteachers at meetings with the Schools Minister and our clear message was that we need more funding.

“This extra cash will be used to improve the education which local children receive and I trust that it will be put to use as soon as possible.

“I will remain in close contact with all local schools and if headteachers tell me that additional money is required, I will be calling for greater funding commitments from the Government.”

Southend councillor Anne Jones, who oversees children and learning, said: “This additional Government funding is a welcome investment in the education of our future generations, which 14 primary and five secondary schools in the borough will be benefit from.

“I hope that there will be further increases in the future, as additional funding will always be needed to ensure children are getting the right start in life, with excellent teachers and modern facilities, so they can take advantage of all the opportunities a good education can bring.”

Councillor Matt Dent, member of the council’s People Scrutiny Committee, added: “Any increase in funding for our cash-strapped schools is of course welcome, and long overdue.

“However, I am cautious around the impact that it may have, given how far behind school funding has fallen over recent years.

“I and other councillors will be scrutinising this closely, in terms of when our schools can expect the money and what if any strings are attached to it.”

The National Education Union has said the promise falls far short of the amount needed to tackle the funding crisis which has seen billions cut from school budgets since 2010, despite growing pupil numbers.

Essex branch secretary Jerry Glazier, said “Substantially more cuts have been made in real terms as the school population has grown and this has meant schools have had to make significant cuts which aren’t addressed by this.

“Secondary schools across Essex have reduced the number of teachers and narrowed the curriculum.

“They haven’t been able to replace music teachers, art on the curriculum has declined, the range of foreign languages has declined and by the same token, schools have not been able to spend on the fabric of their buildings.

“This is a boost but schools need much more to meet what we believe is the needs of all children.”

The funding is due in April.

The schools in line for a funding boost

A total of 19 schools in Southend will benefit from the Government’s extra funding beginning in April 2020:

  • West Leigh Junior School
  • Leigh North Street Primary School
  • Our Lady Of Lourdes Catholic Primary School
  • West Leigh Infant School
  • Heycroft Primary School
  • Chalkwell Hall Junior School
  • Earls Hall Primary School
  • Chalkwell Hall Infant School
  • Edwards Hall Primary School
  • Darlinghurst School
  • Blenheim Primary School
  • Fairways Primary School
  • Bournes Green Junior School
  • Thorpe Greenways Junior School
  • Southend High School For Boys
  • Southend High School For Girls
  • Westcliff High School For Boys Academy
  • Westcliff High School For Girls
  • Belfairs Academy.