THE clash over school funding in the Vale has intensified, as First Minister Mark Drakeford took aim at the Vale council.

As the Penarth Times exclusively revealed, head teachers have taken the unprecedented step of banding together to attack the Welsh Government over a £1 million funding shortfall.

Vale councillors say the local authority receives £606 less per pupil than the Welsh average and £1,360 less per pupil than the highest funded councils.

But First Minister Mark Drakeford said to the BBC that his administration had provided record amounts of investment in education.

He said: “It’s not clear to me why the Vale of Glamorgan uniquely feels it is unable to manage to provide an education for its children on a Friday.

“That is a question for them, which they must be prepared to answer. We have provided record levels of investment for education .

“We have paid in full the uplift in teachers pay. We have paid in full the uplift in teachers pensions.

“Other education authorities in Wales have been able to manage their funding in a way that has not led them to the crisis that the Vale of Glamorgan appears to believe it is in.

“It is for them to resolve it and not for them to pretend that they are not in charge of the services for which they have full and democratic responsibility.”

Cllr John Thomas, leader of the Vale of Glamorgan Council, said: “We have never once suggested we are not able to manage our own services nor have we sought to make the issue of funding education a political one.

“This is not a political issue, it’s a geographical one. The First Minister’s comments are misleading and what he completely fails to recognise is that Welsh Government provides the Vale of Glamorgan Council with less funding per pupil than any other local authority in Wales, around £600 less per pupil than the national average.

“All we are asking for is a fair deal. As a council, we already fund our schools to the tune of £4 million on top of Welsh Government’s contribution. This inevitably means money is being taken away from other vital services.

“Despite Welsh Government claiming their funding formula is based on equity, stability, clarity and relevance, they have yet to explain why they believe it costs less to educate a pupil in the Vale of Glamorgan compared to other areas. Nor have they accepted responsibility for ensuring their own funding formula is in line the principles used to delegate and rationalise funding across Wales.

“If he has no intention of addressing this then it is about time the First Minister acknowledged he and his government care less about pupils in the Vale than those from other parts of the country.”

Last week, parents spoke of their shock over receiving letters from head teachers warning funding cuts could lead to redundancies, closures and endangered health.

A petition from parents demanding the Welsh government funds pupils equally across Wales has 1,972 signatures at the time of writing.

The parent’s funding petition is at