COUNCILLORS in Hexham have called on the Government to listen to concerns over its new National Funding Formula for schools.

The issue was raised at Monday’s town council meeting by county councillor for Hexham West, Coun. Derek Kennedy.

Coun. Kennedy quoted figures from the National Union of Teachers, which anticipate a total reduction of £17m for Northumberland schools.

He told the meeting that a National Audit Office report found that the country’s schools will face an eight per cent “real term” reduction in funding by 2019.

He said: “I felt compelled to raise this following the issue of the letter from the headteacher at Queen Elizabeth High School who highlighted funding cuts from the National Funding Formula.”

Deputy mayor of Hexham, Coun. Tom Gillanders, listed figures from the National Funding Formula stating that schools in Hexham would see their funding alter from between minus one per cent to 2.10 per cent. And county councillor for Hexham East, Coun. Cath Homer suggested that the proposal be amended to acknowledge that the proposed NFF was under consultation.

She said: “To a degree I’m pleased the Government has looked at school funding and has attempted to address some of the issues peculiar to us in Northumberland.

“I don’t think they’ve got it right yet but this is a consultation, nothing has been agreed.”

Councillors agreed unanimously to call on education secretary Justine Greening to recognise the views expressed during the consultation period and deliver a fair financial settlement which ensures that no child loses out and provides necessary funds for a good education.

In its statement to the secretary of state, Hexham Town Council acknowledged that the NFF would see a two per cent increase in Hexham and one per cent for Northumberland.

Coun. Kennedy said: “We are on the verge of something quite considerable here. “