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Funding for schools in South Gloucestershire

I met with our local MP, Mr. Jack Lopresti, earlier today to express my concerns about our lack of representation in regard to inadequate school funding in our area. He committed to requesting a meeting with Mr. Nick Gibb (Minister of State for Schools at the Department for Education) in the coming weeks to share the serious concerns of school and Trust leaders in South Gloucestershire.  I agreed to provide specific examples of our funding pressures.  Mr Lopresti has also pledged to liaise with other local MPs, including Mr. Luke Hall and Mr. Chris Skidmore, so that they can show a united front in highlighting concerns from across the education sector in South Gloucestershire which is the lowest-funded local authority area in the country.

We were pleased for the Castle School Education Trust that they were awarded £14 million in additional capital funding last week to address the poor condition of their schools, and we look forward to an update in regard to the financial support also urgently required for schools within the Olympus Academy Trust, and specifically at Patchway Community School.  Mr. Lopresti has agreed to seek reassurances from South Gloucestershire Council’s leader about capital funding support for Olympus schools and will visit Patchway in due course so that we can impress upon him the reality of a school that has suffered from poor funding for so long.  Patchway Community School is by no means an isolated case in our area.  I hope that the visit serves to highlight to our MP the huge number of schools now operating in such a challenging financial climate, where we are increasingly unable to provide the quality of provision that we aspire to and families rightly expect.

Dave Baker

Chief Executive Officer

The Olympus Academy Trust