A WILTSHIRE headteacher says a Government cash boost of £175m for South West schools is welcome, but that it does not address the “dire” financial situation in schools across the county.

Wiltshire is currently the seventh lowest funded school in the country.

Today’s investment is the equivalent to a five per cent rise in the amount given to schools for each pupil taught there.

From September 2020 each secondary school will receive £5k per pupil, and each primary £4k.

But teachers say costs are increasing faster than inflation and warned that vulnerable pupils will miss out unless investment improves rapidly.

Fergus Stewart, headteacher of St Lawrence school in Bradford on Avon, believes long term and fairer funding is crucial.

He said: “Today’s announcement gives some much needed increase for Wiltshire schools. Wiltshire is the seventh lowest funded area in the whole country but we need to be able to look at the details and we need to have a sustainable footing.

“We have been campaigning for a very long time so it is important to welcome funding that comes our way, but what we need is sustainable long term funding so that we can plan for the education of our children.

“I understand this can be a challenge in the public sector but in education we are always relying on being given the next little bit of funding, it means we are not able to plan long term.

“We are still in a dire situation.”

He added that cash will only be provided for pupils up to the age of 16, and means schools with sixth forms have to subsidise higher education until their students go on to university.

Chippenham MP Michelle Donelan was at Hardenhuish school in Chippenham today and called the Department for Education announcement “fantastic”.

She said:“All secondary schools will have at least £5k of funding per pupil, which is fantastic news.

“We now have national fairer funding which is a fairer way to provide funding for schools.

“It is fantastic news for schools in my constituency and is a big step forward.

“We will be investing £780m next year into special educational needs and disability through the high needs block which is in need of extra funding. We are listening to what teachers, parents and schools are telling us and investing in those areas.”

Prime Minister Boris Johnson said: “Today we are setting out more detail about how schools across the country will benefit next year. This investment will give schools, teachers and parents the certainty to plan, helping further improve standards and ensure our children and young people get a truly world-class education.”

Secretary of state for education Gavin Williamson said: “This Government has announced the biggest funding boost for schools in a decade which will give every school more money for every child - with the biggest increases going to the schools that need it most.”