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Penrith and the Border MP Rory Stewart has issued a statement today backing new funding criteria for schools. He said: “The new National Funding Formula for primary and secondary schools is a simpler formula that will apply a consistent formula to schools, including academies. The aim of this formula is to introduce a more transparent and logical system to the funding procedure as it stands.
"I welcome the introduction of a simpler funding system, however each of our schools in Cumbria is unique, with very different needs, and it is right that this be recognised and indeed celebrated. Under no circumstances must we lose any of our schools.
"A one-size-fits-all approach is not what works for Cumbria, and all of us will need to work very hard – with our schools, their staff and communities, our Councillors, and of course our elected Members of Parliament – to find imaginative ways to ensure our schools can thrive. I encourage each and every school in my constituency to contact me with any concerns, and I will work with them to tackle the implications of the funding formula. If necessary, school budgets must be frozen for as long as it takes to ensure that none of our children are disadvantaged by school closures, and I would like to reassure constituents that I will be working closely with my fellow Cumbrian MPs and indeed Cumbria County Council to do whatever we can to protect our rural schools from mechanisms that do not recognise their vital position in our communities.
"To this end I have invited the Minister, Lord Hill, to visit and to see our schools, and to meet with Cumbria County Council representatives.”