New funding as part of Education Investment Area status for South Glos
Education campaigners have welcomed fresh funding for South Gloucestershire pupils after it was confirmed as one of 50 new Education Investment Areas by the government.
In these new ‘Education Investment Areas’, the Department for Education will prioritise these areas as the locations for new specialist sixth-form free schools where there is limited provision to ensure talented children from disadvantaged backgrounds have access to the highest standard of education this country offers. They will also be eligible to offer retention payments to help schools keep the best teachers in the highest priority subjects.
The government will set a new national mission to ensure that 90% of children leaving primary school in England are reaching the expected standard in reading, writing, and maths by 2030.
These latest plans are on top of an already-confirmed extra £12million of funding for South Gloucestershire’s schools - an increase above the national average - and new school buildings are planned in Warmley and Lyde Green in a further boost to education locally.
The news has also been welcomed by South Gloucestershire Council’s Conservative Administration, which has made school standards its number one priority and is now seeing improving performance locally.
Commenting on the announcement, Kingswood MP Chris Skidmore said:
“We know that whilst talent is evenly spread, opportunity is not and that is why the extra resource from the government that comes with this new Education Investment Area status is so welcome. For example, helping to keep the best teachers in the highest priority subjects in South Gloucestershire will help ensure more pupils gain the skills and knowledge to help them reach their full potential in life.
These plans will help create a level playing field, boost our local Kingswood economy and come on top of record levels of school funding – an extra £12million for our local South Gloucestershire schools this year.”
Cllr Erica Williams, South Gloucestershire Council Cabinet Member for Education, Skills and Employment, said:
“Improving school standards is the number one priority for local Conservatives and we are pleased these continue to rise across South Gloucestershire thanks to the measures we have been able to put in place. This additional support from the Government will help to lock in those improvements and help give young people in our area the best possible start to their education.”