WARRINGTON South MP David Mowat said that schools in the area could be ‘the big winners’ after the government announced plans to reform the way schools are funded.

Schools in Warrington are among the poorest funded in the country and last year the Association of School and College Leaders named the area as one of the 10 lowest funded local education authorities.

Warrington schools received grants of £4,236 per pupil this year but some schools in top funded areas such as London received more than double this amount, up to £8,595 per pupil.

David Mowat welcomed the funding review and said: “This consultation is another important step on the road to getting rid of this unfair, outdated formula and replacing it with one that is fit for purpose.

“I know from talking to heads that schools are having to cut back on teaching support staff as a result of the squeeze. 

“That risks seeing children from disadvantaged backgrounds falling further behind instead of catching up with their classmates.

“I hope that parents and teachers in Warrington will get behind this consultation as our town is likely to be one of the big winners from reform.”

The government has pledged more than £40million to funding schools next year, including £2.5billion to help disadvantaged children.

Education secretary Nicky Morgan, who announced the review on Monday, said: “We want every school in England to get the funding it deserves, so that all children – whatever their background and wherever they live in the country – get a great education.

“The introduction of a national funding formula from 2017-18 will see the biggest step towards fairer funding in over a decade – ensuring that pupils get funding that genuinely matches their need. 

“It will also ensure that pupils from disadvantaged backgrounds continue to receive significant additional funding to overcome entrenched barriers to their success.

“This is a key part of our core mission to extend opportunity to all children and provide educational excellence in all parts of the country: rural and urban, shire and metropolitan, north and south.”

But Chris Keates, general secretary of the largest teachers’ union in the UK, NASUWT, said the announcement of funding reforms has provoked anxiety rather than reassurance in schools.

He said: “It is unlikely that anyone would argue against the principle that the funding system for schools should be fair, but the devil will be in the detail and schools, teachers and parents will be desperate to know how the proposals will affect them.

“The question on everyone’s lips will be how much more or less money will individual schools receive, and that is a question the Government has failed to answer.”