Rural schools given £500 per pupil less than urban counterparts

19 Jun 2023
Helen Morgan MP

Students at secondary schools in rural areas like Shropshire receive nearly £500 less funding per head compared to pupils in urban areas, new figures uncovered by Helen Morgan MP show.

Pupils at school in urban locations in England receive an average of £6,565 per head. For rural areas, this number is much lower at £6,072, according to analysis by the House of Commons Library.

This comes after a series of visits by the Shropshire MP to rural schools in her constituency, where serious issues with the funding formula were laid bare by issues raised by teachers, parents and pupils. The Corbet School in Baschurch revealed that 25% of their teaching space is now through old demountable buildings, not permanent classrooms – with school place statistics this year also showing the school taking 27 pupils over capacity 

The MP has pledged to campaign for a fairer deal, so that those growing up in the countryside get a first class, properly funded education and are not left with worse opportunities.

Helen Morgan, MP for North Shropshire said, “These shocking figures confirm what headteachers have long suspected: that school funding is not fair for children who happen to grow up in rural areas.

“Schools across Shropshire are crying out for investment, and looking at the statistics we’ve uncovered it’s very clear why. Rural areas like ours deserve to be taken seriously, not left behind with growing gaps in funding and service provision.

“This year in England, children attending school in the countryside will each receive an average of £500 less for their education than those in urban areas. When there are so many issues that need sorting out in places like Shropshire, this seems deeply unfair.

“I will be holding the government to account and continue campaigning for a fair deal for rural secondary schools, and to get pupils in Shropshire the funding they deserve.”

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