School lobbies MP on funding

By Nigel Slater Friday 08 February 2013 Updated: 08/02 12:25

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Buy photos » Pupils from Ashton-under-Hill First School met with West Worcestershire MP Harriet Baldwin during a special visit to the school. (s)

PUPILS and staff at a Vale school lobbied MP Harriett Baldwin for fairer funding in rural schools during a special visit last week.

The West Worcestershire MP met with pupils, staff and parents of Ashton-under-Hill First School on Friday (February 1) to discuss future school funding.

The visit followed concerns rural schools will be hardest hit when proposed funding changes come into effect in two years time.

Pupils from the Elmley Road school gave the MP a folder containing several letters calling for help to protect funding for the school.

The MP's day also included a special Question Time when youngsters were given the opportunity to quiz her about her work and life in Westminster.

Bryony Baynes, headteacher of Ashton-under-Hill First School, said Mrs Baldwin's visit had been a big success.

"It was good to welcome Mrs Baldwin to the school and I hope she had a much better understanding of small rural schools like ours," she said.

"What the Government is proposing with fairer funding will hit smaller schools quite hard. I understand the reasoning behind it but it is going to leave small schools in a vulnerable position.

"And it could potentially be disastrous for smaller schools in general and what we were trying to do is to get that message across to Mrs Baldwin."

Mrs Baldwin said she hopes more discussions will be held over fairer funding to help protect schools such as Ashton-under-Hill First School.

"Everyone clearly feels very passionately about the way our schools are funded in Worcestershire," she said.

"I was able to report that together with my local MP colleagues, I held a debate on the issue in Westminster and I hope the Department will look again at the way we fund our vital rural schools.

“Ashton-under-Hill First School is another example of a great rural school making the most of its resources to offer a great start for local children.

“The head, staff and governors are clearly all working together to do a great job and I can't speak too highly of what I have seen first hand."

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