I have received a number of correspondence from teachers and headteachers on the subject of school funding.

I note their concerns about maintaining current high standards of secondary school Education Essex. I was very pleased to learn that over 93% of children in Essex attend good or outstanding rated primary school. I understand that you feel that this may not be able to be maintained or improved as a result of the new National Funding Formula, due to be introduced from 2018 to 2019.

As you may know, the Government has announced plans to end the historical postcode lottery in school funding which is intended to ensure every child is funded fairly and according to their specific needs. In order to fix this disparity, the Government has published its fair funding proposals, to ensure that children with similar characteristics and similar needs attract similar levels of funding - regardless of where their families happen to live. I note that you believe that the proposals are more transparent yet you feel that this proposal will cause a reduction in per-pupil spending costs of 8% and will be left for the schools to fund.

 I can appreciate that you were initially supportive of the proposed but feel that the new National Funding Formula does not quite address school funding needs. I understand that you feel that spending should be driven by what is best for the students and you feel that the financial outlook is bleak. However, the Government has pledged to build a country that works for everyone, not just the privileged few. The proposals will allow schools and local authorities to manage the transition to fairer funding while making the best use of their resources and managing cost pressures, ensuring every pound is used effectively to drive up standards and have maximum impact for the young people they serve.

I quite understand the educational standards schools in Essex wish to maintain and continue to achieve. Therefore, I can confirm that I have written to the Secretary of State for Education to address the points you have made and for her comments. I will of course let you all know as soon as I receive a reply.