FUNDING per school pupil in the Vale of Glamorgan is the lowest in Wales.

The leader of the Vale council Cllr John Thomas and chair of the schools budget forum Dr Vince Browne have both raised their concerns with Welsh Government after it was revealed that funding per pupil in the Vale is £606 below the Welsh average and £1,360 less than the highest funded local authority.

They have jointly written to the cabinet secretary for education, Kirsty Williams, and all parents in the Vale setting out their concerns over what they describe as the chronic underfunding of education in the county.

Cllr Thomas said: “We have some of the best schools and most able and enthusiastic teaching and support staff in Wales working here in the Vale of Glamorgan, but their work is being undermined by a flawed funding system.

“The level of funding that each local authority receives is determined by a formula designed by Welsh Government. While it may have once been effective, this formula has not been reviewed for 17 years and relies on data gathered in the 1991 census.

“It simply beggars belief that the funding of possibly the most important area of our work is determined by data that is almost 30 years old.

“I have raised concerns about this directly with Welsh Government on numerous occasions. The responses I have received have given me absolutely no confidence in the methodology used to distribute education funding across Wales. Perhaps more worryingly, they have also shown a complete unwillingness to reconsider their approach or to address any of the clear flaws that have been raised.

“It is because of this refusal to even consider alternatives that I felt there was no option but to share with the parents of the pupils whose education the council is responsible for my opinion that their education is being held back by the use of an outdated and flawed Welsh Government formula.”

Dr Browne said: “I have been a member of the Vale Budget Forum Group for many years and have witnessed year after year students in the Local Authority receiving the lowest level of funding of any students across Wales.

"I have also witnessed the gap in funding between students in the Vale and other students across Wales growing.

"I believe that there is clear evidence that the funding methodology employed by the Welsh Government disadvantages the education of pupils in the Vale and is flawed and out of date.

"The Welsh Government states that the principles by which they allocate funding are equity, stability, clarity and relevance. I am calling for a review of the formula to ensure that it meets these stated principles in order to ensure that all students across Wales are treated equitably."

Due to reductions in the funding received from Welsh Government, the Vale of Glamorgan Council’s budgeted expenditure per pupil in 2017/18 is at the same level it was in 2012/13. This is despite the authority channelling £3 million above the 2017/18 Welsh Government Indicative Spending level into schools funding in the current financial year.

Spending on education represents 45 per cent of the Vale of Glamorgan Council’s overall budget.

A Welsh Government spokesman said: “Despite years of austerity from the UK Government, not a single Welsh local authority faces a reduction of more than 0.5 per cent in their core funding next year. This is in stark contrast to Local Government budgets in England which have been slashed by 12 per cent since 2011.

“Delivering the best education for every child in Wales is a key priority for this Welsh Government. Across Welsh Government we have taken action to prioritise funding to the Local Government Settlement to ensure resources go straight to the front line to support schools.

“School funding is the responsibility of local councils - we expect them to deliver our shared aim of high quality education for every child and set budgets at a level which gives every school the resources needed to reflect this priority.”