Schools welcome £750,000 boost from County Council after pupil numbers rise

Almost £750,000 has been awarded by Somerset County Council to Somerset schools who experienced a rise in pupil numbers this September.

Twenty-one of the county’s schools have received a boost from the County Council’s Growth Fund – designed to give extra support to expanding Somerset schools.

This additional funding is offered every year by the County Council, which is responsible for allocating a school place to every school-age child who has applied for a place within the county.

Once schools receive the Growth Fund from Somerset County Council, it is then down to individual schools’ governing bodies to decide how to best use the additional funding.

This could be to appoint extra teaching or support staff or pay for additional learning resources or equipment.

The Council allows maintained schools or academies to apply for a Growth Fund grant, to help them accommodate a higher-than-expected pupil intake.

Schools have to prove that they meet the criteria set out by the Somerset Schools Forum, including significant pressure on their resources because of a rise in pupil numbers from the previous year. Pupil numbers are recorded every October through a national pupil census.

This census determines how much money an individual school will receive in its overall budget the following year.

The Somerset schools who have received additional funding from Somerset County Council this autumn, are:

Bishops Hull Community Primary
St. Mary’s C of E VC Primary School
Catcott Community Primary School
Creech St Michael C of E Primary School
Churchfield Church School
Greenfylde C of E First School
North Petherton Community Primary School
Norton Fitzwarren Community Primary School
Oakhill C of E Primary School
Somerset Bridge Community Primary School
South Petherton Junior School
St James Church School
Trinity CofE VA Primary School
Wellsprings Community Primary
Trull C of E VA Primary School
Wembdon, St Georges C of E VC Primary School
West Buckland Community Primary School
West Monkton C of E Primary School
Wincanton Community Primary School
Holy Trinity C of E Primary School
Preston C of E Primary School

Cllr Frances Nicholson, Cabinet Member for Children and Families, said: “Our duty and commitment to Somerset’s children is to ensure that every child who applies to us for a school place is offered a school place.
“Linked to that commitment, we are pleased to be able to offer and give extra support to all schools who meet the additional funding criteria, so they are supported as their pupil numbers rise.”