MPs tells Minister: Pupils in Cambridgeshire get rough deal over school funding

New principal for Kingshill Church School.

New principal for Kingshill Church School. - Credit: Archant

LOCAL schools are being given a rough deal when it comes to funding with the news that every pupil gets £500 less compared to students in the rest of the country.

The news has stirred Cambridgeshire MPs into action who this week met with the Government’s Schools Minister to demand equality for our county’s children.

Cambridgeshire will receive the lowest school funding of £3,950 per pupil compared to an average of £4,450 across the UK, according to grant figures published this month.

Out of all 151 local Authorities in the country, Cambridgeshire’s children will fare the worst.

The difference per pupil represents the cost of around six teachers per primary school or an additional county school budget of around £44 million.

MPs met with Schools Minister MP David Laws to highlight the unfairness of the current funding formula and to reveal examples of potential educational hardship.

Cambridgeshire Conservative MP colleagues Sir Jim Paice, Steve Barclay, Andrew Lansley, Jonathan Djanogly and Shailesh Vara, urged the Government to ensure their constituents received an increased and fairer funding settlement.

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They also requested that a funding formula review, previously promised, should be implemented as soon as possible.

David Laws MP said the Government recognised that the existing funding formula was “very unfair” and admitted that the current formula, inherited from the previous Government, could not be defended.

His ability to make changes, however, would be related to spending review outcomes at the end of June.

Sir Jim Paice said the Minister acknowledged that the current system was unfair and that Cambridgeshire was poorly served.

“On the back of this meeting my colleagues and I have written to the Chancellor of the Exchequer expressing our jointly held concerns for the funding of Cambridgeshire schools and encouraging him to prioritise this in funding allocation decisions which will be taken in the next few weeks.”

Steve Barclay said: “It’s clear that the funding formula introduced by the last government is fundamentally unfair. It’s really important that pupils in Cambridgeshire have the best resources possible and that we are giving them best chance of fulfilling their educational potential.”

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