A MAJOR new cash allocation for education will make all the difference to many schools in rural areas, says Bridgwater and West Somerset Conservative MP Ian Liddell-Grainger.

He says the additional £14 billion investment which will be pumped into the education budget over the next three years will relieve much of the pressure on schools which struggle to contain the extra costs involved of education in rural areas.

The new deal means secondary schools will receive at least £5,000 per pupil and primary schools at least £3,750 – with a shift up to £4,000 in the current year.

Mr Liddell-Grainger says in his Bridgwater and West Somerset constituency that will mean significant increases in spending for four primary schools and one secondary.

"More to the point," he said, "the announcement further reinforces the Government’s mission to ensure that children with the same needs benefit from the same funding, wherever they happen to live in the country."

“This is an issue I have been campaigning about for years,” he said.

“In so many cases I have come across rural schools which are doing their best to deliver the finest possible education to local children but which have constantly found their remoteness acting against them.

“This may have manifested itself in the difficulty they have experienced in recruiting staff of the right calibre, or the challenging logistics of transporting children for long distances for cultural or sporting events or for valuable non-curricular activities.

“I believe the imbalance in the system has now been accepted by the Government and I see this is a further indication that the situation is now being tackled seriously.”