CUTS to school funding across Worcestershire have been controversially approved – with the worst-hit facing reductions of up to eight per cent next year.

The county council has agreed to adopt a new Government formula for the 2013/14 year, which means drastic reductions for mainly rural schools.

The cabinet admitted “there will be winners and losers” under the cuts, but said it was reluctantly following instructions from the Department for Education in simplifying the grant awards process.

But the authority has stopped short of agreeing the same system for the 2014/15 academic year, and says it will have more time to lobby the Government on future funding arrangements to try and get a better outcome.

As the Worcester News revealed last week, some schools face cuts of up to 40 per cent unless the county fights for a better outcome.

The only thing stopping cuts of up to 40 per cent being implemented now is a minimum funding guarantee (MFG).

Councillor Adrian Hardman, council leader, said: “Twenty years ago we were mid-table in a league table of school funding in the country – now we’re virtually bottom.”

For the full story and reaction, see tomorrow's Worcester News.