School Funding

Every child should have the chance to succeed in life and that starts with access to a good school place, no matter their background or where they live. I regularly meet with local Head Teachers in Castle Point and I have lobbied the Government to increase funding for our local schools. I will work to ensure that funding for our local schools continues to grow, and our young people benefit from the best possible start in life.



In autumn 2022, the Government announced that in 2023-24, schools will get an extra £2 billion of revenue funding and the same again in 2024-25. In July 2023, further funding was also given for the next two academic years to support teachers' pay award - with over £480 million going into schools this academic year and over £825 million for the next. This is on top of the £1.5 billion increase schools were already set to receive in 2023-24, bringing the overall funding increase this year to £3.9 billion, compared to 2022-23. 

The Government has also rightly increased the higher needs budget. In the coming financial year it will be £10.5 billion, which is 60% higher than it was in 2019-20.  Not many budgets, under any Government or in any area, have increased by 60%, which shows the Government’s support for and commitment to fixing this problem. The higher needs budget is a term used to refer to funding provided to support students and young people with a special educational needs and disabilities. Which is part of this Government commitment to support young people who face specific learning challenges.

It means that total school revenue funding in England is £57.7 billion for 2023-24, rising to £59.6 billion for 2024-25. As a result, in 2024-25 schools will receive the highest ever in real terms per pupil.

School standards are rising across the board and England has catapulted up the international rankings for academic attainment through our multimillion-pound maths and English hubs programme and phonics screening check. Thanks to reforms introduced since 2010, England is now one of the top performing countries in the world for maths, reading and science. This has delivered 90% of schools to be rated good or outstanding by Ofsted, up from just 68% in 2010.   



Schools in England now have more teachers than ever before, as new data reveals there are over 468,000 teachers in the workforce which means there are over 27,000 more teachers in classrooms since 2010 and 2,800 more than last year. Support staff numbers have continued to grow and at over 281,000, there are now a record number of teaching assistants, ensuring pupils get the support they need to help them learn.

Earlier this year, the Government delivered on the manifesto commitment to give every new teacher a starting salary of at least £30,000 alongside the highest pay award for teachers in over 30 years. In the recent pay award, teachers and leaders in maintained schools received a pay award of 6.5%, the highest pay award for teachers in over thirty years. Standards of education have risen sharply since 2010, with 89% of school rated good or outstanding by Ofsted, up from just 68% in 2010.

This includes increased bursaries worth up to £28,000 tax free and scholarships worth up to £30,000 tax free, to encourage people to teach key subjects such as mathematics, physics, chemistry and computing. The Government has also introduced Levelling Up Premium worth up to £3,000 tax free for these subjects in the first five years of their careers who choose to work in disadvantaged schools. For 2024/25 and 2025/26, the Government is doubling these rates to £6,000 tax free.

The Workload Reduction Taskforce was launched by the Secretary of State alongside the pay award in July 2023 and has agreed early recommendations to help reduce teacher workload and encourage education staff wellbeing shrinking their working week by 5 hours within the next 3 years.



The Prime Minister has announced plans to develop a new qualification framework called the Advanced British Standard for 16 to 18-year-olds which will bring together the best of A levels and T levels into a single qualification. This will ensure technical and academic education are placed on an equal footing, with every student also studying some form of maths and English to age 18. Students will typically study a minimum of five subjects.

Students will also spend more time in the classroom, increasing taught hours to a minimum of 1,475 hours over two years. This is almost 200 more taught hours than a typical A level student in England.

It will take around a decade to fully roll out the Advanced British Standard and the Government is consulting on how best to design and implement this new qualification.



I have worked hard to support local schools and colleges since 2010. I will continue my push to secure more good quality education and training in Castle Point and ensure our young people have bright prospects ahead.

Since 2010 over 5.7 million people have started their apprenticeship journey and the government is increase investment in apprenticeships to £2.7 billion by 2024 to 2025, ensuring businesses have a pipeline of talent to grow the economy. Last year in Castle Point 550 new apprenticeships were started.

I was recently toured around the state-of-the-art XTEND digital campus on Canvey with the Apprenticeships and Skills Minister Robert Halfon, which focuses on augmented reality, virtual reality, extended reality and immersive education. I also welcomed £4 million of funding from the Government for Cedar Hall School which allowed them to build new state-of-the-art classrooms and facilities, all completed in time for the new academic year.