Derbyshire schools to get £14 million extra funding

County Hall, Matlock.
County Hall, Matlock.

Derbyshire schools are to get a share of an extra £14 million.

As one of the country’s worst-funded education authorities, Derbyshire qualifies for the Government cash.

The money won’t be available until this time next year, but Derbyshire County Council is giving schools early notice of the windfall so they can plan for it.

The authority’s deputy leader and cabinet member for children and young people, Coun Kevin Gillott, welcomed the extra cash but said it did not redress years of underfunding.

He said: “This is a significant amount of money and by letting schools know early what’s available, it will help them plan their spending.

“Schools are facing considerable financial pressures, including inflation and a rise in employers’ pension contributions, and are having to make some difficult decisions.

“This extra money will be useful, but our schools have been historically underfunded and this won’t redress the balance of years of unfairness.”

The authority is about to launch a consultation with schools on how the money should be allocated.

They will be asking schools and the Schools Forum – made up of headteachers and governors from a wide variety of schools and education providers, including nurseries and special schools – for their views.

A report on the outcome of the consultation is due at the end of the summer term when the authority’s cabinet will be asked to agree in principle on how the money will be allocated.

The final amount of money will not be confirmed until December 2014.

Coun Gillott added: “Funding for our schools still remains much lower than the national average, but I know schools will put whatever money they get to good use, giving students the standard of education they deserve.

“Giving children the best start in life and helping them achieve their full potential is at the heart of what we do and we will continue to help schools deliver this.”