SCHOOLS in Chard and Ilminster will pick up a share of millions of pounds after MP David Laws announced fairer funding for Somerset’s education.

Mr Laws, who represents Chard and Ilminster, is also Minister of State for Schools.

Somerset schools will receive £4.7million in extra funding in 2015/16, a 70% increase on initial proposals made in March.

Cllr Frances Nicholson, cabinet member for Children and Families, said: “Somerset County Council is committed to achieving a national fair funding formula that delivers for Somerset children. This increase is a firm step in the right direction.”

David Derbyshire, Wadham School head teacher and chairman of the Somerset Children and Young People’s Compact, said: “This additional funding is welcome at a time when schools and early years providers face difficult budget decisions.

“There is still a distance to go before a truly fair funding formula is achieved across the country but this is a start.”

Leader of Somerset County Council John Osman said: “This is fantastic news for pupils in Somerset.

“For years we have got an unfair deal from government and lobbied for the funding formula to change.

“This extra funding is a step in the right direction and will help schools secure resources and maintain education standards.

“After years of a growing funding gap in schools and early years provision, the extra funding will fill the hole in the budget and help avoid damaging cuts to education in the county.”