September 2017

Michael has welcomed new school funding levels which he has campaigned for since before he was elected. Alongside colleagues, he has continually called for a change in the current funding arrangements that see Dorset and Poole schools significantly disadvantaged. The new funding formula set out last week by the Secretary of State for Education will see schools in Mid Dorset and North Poole receive significant increases.

The National Funding Formula (NFF), the biggest improvement to the school funding system for decades, will ensure that for the first time funding is based on the individual needs and characteristics of every school in the country. The publication of the final NFF for 2018-19 and 2019-20 in Parliament today follows two major consultations, generating more than 26,000 responses, and the Education Secretary’s announcement in July of an additional £1.3billion boost to the front line schools budget.

Across the constituency, schools will receive an increase in total funding of 4.9% on average.

Michael said “The national funding formula will come into effect from April 2018 and will replace the current unfair, opaque and out of date funding system. For the first time, the resources that the Government is investing in our schools will be distributed according to a formula based on the individual needs and characteristics of our schools. I am in no doubt that much of the credit for the new formula must go to schools in Dorset and Poole who have helped make the case for change.”

The introduction of the NFF from April 2018 means the Government is delivering on a key election commitment. Figures published recently show regional and school-level allocations under the new formula, although local authorities will continue to decide individual school allocations up to 2020.

The Secretary of State for Education Justine Greening said “Standards are rising across our school system and a fairer funding formula will ensure we can build on that success. It will replace the outdated funding system which saw our children have very different amounts invested in their education purely because of where they were growing up. That was unacceptable and we have now made school funding fairer between schools for the first time in decades.

“It’s a long overdue reform and our £1.3 billion extra funding means every school can gain.”

January 2017

Michael is pleased that progress has been made to implement the new National Funding Formula. The Education Secretary recently announced that the new funding formula will be in place by 2018-19 and revealed the detail of the new formula and the corresponding funding levels for all schools in Dorset and Poole.

Fairer funding for local schools has been a key campaign for Michael and is an issue that he has been campaigning on before becoming an MP. The current formula significantly disadvantages schools in Dorset and Poole and Michael has taken every opportunity to urge the Government to alter the formula.  Michael has recently met with the Secretary of State to discuss fair funding and is leading a delegation of MPs about the effect on Grammar Schools later this month.

Under new proposals, schools in Mid Dorset and North Poole are set to gain an extra million pounds and schools in Dorset look to gain five million pounds on per pupil funding from the new formula.
However not every school is gaining from the changes, and as ever, the devil is in the detail. A further period of public consultation has been announced looking at the technical detail of the new formula and the resulting funding levels. The deadline is the 22nd of March. Michael is urging residents to have a look at the consultation document and have their say.

30th November 2016: Michael leads Delegation of Poole MPs to Minister on Fair Funding for Schools

Michael Tomlinson, Robert Syms, & Conor Burns met with the Schools Minister this week to press the Government to deliver on their commitment to introduce a fairer national funding formula for schools.

At present our schools are amongst the worst funded per pupil in the country – Poole is 2nd from bottom and Dorset is 11th from the bottom in terms of per pupil funding. 

Michael commented, “I was delighted to lead this delegation to the Minister, and in fact he was very receptive of our ideas. I am reassured by the Minister that the Department is working to ensure that this new formula will work from day one.”

“I am particularly pleased that Ministers will be releasing their response to the consultation on the key components of the formula before Christmas so schools in Mid Dorset and North Poole can have greater certainty of their funding arrangements as we move to a fairer funding formula.”

The announcement at the last Comprehensive Spending Review to usher in a new national funding formula for schools signalled an end to the current unfair system, which lasted for decades and led to a situation where the ten best funded areas of England receive an average of £6,300 per pupil of schools block funding, compared to just £4,200 in the ten worst funded areas – with no objective basis for the difference.

During the meeting they secured a commitment from the Minister for an announcement on the next stage of implementation before Christmas and an opportunity for schools, parents, and MPs to have their say in the New Year.


November 2016: Michael is meeting with the Schools Minister to press the case in person for Fairer Funding

Michael is campaigning for fairer funding for our schools in Poole and Dorset.  At present our schools are amongst the worst funded per pupil in the country.  There is no rhyme or reason for it – this is just an historical anomaly. It is unfair and Michael is campaigning to change it.


Thursday, 26 November, 2015

Michael welcomes fair funding breakthrough in Comprehensive Spending Review

Michael has welcomed the Chancellor’s commitment to introduce fair school funding as part of today’s Comprehensive Spending Review.  A new funding formula will set a national rate that every school will receive for each pupil, with additional funding for those with extra needs.  Crucially, from 2017-18 onwards the resources schools and local authorities will receive will be based on pupil characteristics rather than historic political calculations.  The Department for Education will consult on the detail of the announcement in early 2016.

The Chancellor praised Michael saying he is a “great champion for Poole and Dorset” and that fairer funding will make a “great difference” to schools the area. The announcement signals an end to the current unfair system, which has lasted for decades and led to a situation where the ten best funded areas of England receive an average of £6,300 per pupil of schools block funding, compared to just £4,200 in the ten worst funded areas – with no objective basis for the difference.

It follows years of campaigning by the F40 Group of poorly-funded local authorities, and a concerted Parliamentary campaign to make the issue a top political priority.  In October, Michael was one of 111 MPs who wrote to the Prime Minister to call for fairer funding to be introduced, and on 5 November he demanded action in a debate on the issue in Westminster Hall.  On Tuesday 1 December, Michael will join colleagues as petitions from over 100 constituencies calling for fair funding will be presented by MPs in the House of Commons chamber.

Speaking after the announcement, Michael Tomlinson said, “I am delighted that the Chancellor has listened to the concerns raised by me and my colleagues. This has been a key campaign priority for me and I am pleased that our schools will get the fair funding they deserve.”

Graham Stuart MP, who serves as Vice Chairman of the F40 Campaign representing the worst-funded authorities, said, “I am delighted that the Government has committed to introduce a national funding formula for English schools, ending the postcode lottery that means children in Mid Dorset & North Poole lose out for no good reason.  As always, the devil will lie in the detail and we will need to see the full detail of the consultation, but in principle this represents a huge step forward and is a decision of lasting significance.

“I am very grateful to Michael Tomlinson, who has played a big role as a Patron of the Fair School Funding Campaign.  He has worked tirelessly to draw attention to the unfair funding gap and today’s announcement marks a real breakthrough.”


Tuesday, 10 November, 2015

Michael Tomlinson MP urges fairer funding timetable

Michael Tomlinson MP has spoken in favour of a fairer funding formula for schools in Poole and Dorset during a recent Westminster hall debate. Michael lobbied the Under-Secretary of State for Childcare and Education, Sam Gyimah MP, to set out a timetable for delivery of the new settlement.

Michael said, "Funding may sound like a rather dry subject, but it is key to ensure schools and teachers have the tools they need to help children get the best possible start in life. We need to do all we can to change the funding settlement to ensure an equality of opportunity and most importantly, this must be implemented with the needs of our nation's children in need."

“I have campaigned on this issue and I am encouraged by the response I have received from The Prime Minister but now it is important that we keep the pressure on the Government and get a clear timetable for fairer funding.”

Michael has received a response to a recent fairer funding letter to the Prime Minister. In his reply, David Cameron said “This Government remains fully committed to making funding fairer.” Michael welcomes this affirmation from the Prime Minister and will continue to press the Government until this matter is fully resolved.


Monday, 26 October, 2015

Michael Tomlinson writes to the Prime Minister to demand Fair School Funding

Michael Tomlinson joined 111 MPs who have written an open letter to David Cameron calling on the Government to deliver school funding reform.  The MPs, working on a cross-party basis, ask the Prime Minister to implement the funding formula proposed by the F40 campaign group, which would ensure fair funding based on pupil need.

Under the current system, the ten best funded areas of England will receive an average grant of £6,297 per pupil this year, compared to an average of just £4,208 per pupil in the ten most poorly funded areas. Schools in Poole fall into the bottom ten areas with Dorset schools ranked 11th lowest.

Michael Tomlinson said “I have signed this letter to continue the push for fairer funding. I am pleased that so many colleagues share my view that this is an issue that need to be sorted quickly so that local schools get the fair funding that they need.”


Wednesday, 16 September, 2015

Michael raises fairer funding at Prime Ministers Questions

Today, Michael asked the Prime Minister about fairer funding for schools in Dorset and Poole. During the much anticipated session of Prime Minister's Questions, which was the first for the new leader of the opposition, Michael welcomed the Government's committment to fairer funding but urged the Prime Minister to ensure that this happened as soon as possible.

Michael said, "I wanted to take this opportunity to raise an issue that I have been campaigning for on for a long time. This issue affects children right across Dorset and fixing this long standing imbalance quickly, is critically important."

He added, "I campaigned on my plan for Mid Dorset and North Poole and I am keen to ensure that these issues are at the front of the Government's agenda. Getting the opportunity to raise this at Prime Minister's Questions is excellent and I am happy that the Prime Minister recognises the unfairness in the current funding formula."


The Prime Minister responded by highlighting the increase in funding that schools in both Dorset and Poole have received but he did accept that the current funding formula is unfair and that more must be done to address this issue.


Monday, 7 March, 2015

Fair schools funding consultation launched.

The Government has announced plans to give fairer funding to Dorset & Poole schools.

Historic reforms that will bring an end to the unfairness facing local schools has been announced today by the Secretary of State. Mid Dorset & North Poole MP, Michael Tomlinson, has been campaigning on this issue and welcomes the latest step towards fairer funding.

A consultation has been launched on plans to create a single national funding formula that will remove many geographical anomalies and instead focus on the needs of pupils. Pupils with similar needs would get similar levels of funding, something that local schools have not been receiving under the current system. Dorset and Poole schools have consistently been ranked at the bottom of funding league tables and local MPs have been fighting to have this situation rectified.

Michael Tomlinson, a Patron of the Fairer Funding Campaign, said: “This is another step along the road to fairer funding for our schools, I was delighted that the Government announced a fairer funding formula and I am pleased that they have continued their work towards a more equitable system. This will make a genuine difference to our local schools and will ensure a better deal for Dorset, our schools and our children.”

The planned changes will see a new formula introduced from 2017-2018.  Michael is encouraging all schools to participate in the consultation process. The consultation can be accessed on the following page: