MPs call for government to overturn funding rule impacting Sheffield schools

Written by Michael Robinson

Labour MP Paul Blomfield has written to Education Secretary Gavin Williamson urging him to overturn a rule which is restricting funding for Sheffield College and other Sheffield schools.

The government rule means schools which have grade three (‘requires improvement’) Ofsted ratings, or lower, will have caps imposed on their funding.

Sheffield College, which has received a grade three Ofsted rating, teaches around 14,000 students and apprentices each year and their education could be affected by this ruling.

Paul Blomfield, MP for Sheffield Central, said: “It is a critical issue given government plans to put FE colleges at the forefront of the UK’s economic pandemic recovery.

“Our communities, employers and The Sheffield College should not be held back by this unfair funding rule.”

Paul Blomfield, 2017

The rule means that various Sheffield students have been denied access to T-Level courses and to state of the art facilities and will not have the same access as students from other cities, according to Mr Blomfield.

Students studying STEM subjects at Sheffield College will not have access to the funding needed for facilities which would enrich their learning.

The letter also called for a relaxing of this rule to be applied to all students and not just apprentices.

The Ofsted grading system ranks schools on a four-point scale with the grades in descending order being grade 1 (outstanding), grade 2 (good), grade 3 (requires improvement) and grade 4 (inadequate).

The letter was signed by fellow Sheffield MPs Gill Furniss, Clive Betts, Olivia Blake and Louise Haigh.

The letter also called on the government to deliver on the aims of the ‘Skills for Jobs White Paper’ which aims to improve post-16 education, training, boost skills, and get more people employed.

Written by Michael Robinson

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