Gloucestershire

Academy funding 'flawed' admits David Cameron

Funding for academies has been described as "flawed" by the prime minister after the issue was raised by a Gloucestershire MP in the Commons.

Teachers in the county say there are "wild variations" in grants to schools that opt out of local council control.

They say Gloucestershire academies receive £156 in funding per student per year compared with £319 in Somerset.

Education Secretary Michael Gove is to investigate after it was raised by Tewkesbury MP Lawrence Robertson.

David Cameron said it needed to "sort out the problem" with the funding formula.

The grant concerned covers the cost of extra services no longer provided by the local authority.

Andrew Harris, chairman of The Gloucestershire Association of Secondary Headteachers, said some of Gloucestershire's 29 academies have had to cut back on staff and plans to improve facilities due to the shortfall.

Mr Harris, who is the head at Katherine Lady Berkeley's School in Wotton-under-Edge, believes this would not be the case if the Local Authority Central Spend Equivalent Grant funding was on par with other counties.

He said the government should recognise the "wild variations" across the country:

"Our real concern is that the situation continues into 2012/13, which is completely unacceptable."

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