October 21 2014 Latest news:
By Matthew Gooding
Friday, March 21, 2014
Government plans to address the inbalance in schools funding in Cambridgeshire have been given a cautious welcome by education chiefs.
Last week the Government announced a consultation that would result in Cambridgeshire’s schools per pupil funding – the lowest funded in the country – rising by about £20m in 2015/16 - equating to an extra £275 per pupil.
As reported in The Crow last week, the county’s schools had been urging parents to sign a petition calling for action to be taken against the equality in funding, which sees Cambridgeshire schools receive more than £500 per pupil less than the national average.
Richard Lloyd, head teacher at Steeple Morden primary school, said the news was a step in the right direction.
But he warned: “This doesn’t come into effect this year, and in April a lot of primary schools are going to be struggling.
“There should be equality across the board, every school should get the same amount of money per child regardless of where they are.”
The schools had been campaigning for bridging finance to be put in place for the school year 2014/15.
Cllr David Harty, Cabinet Member for Education and Learning at Cambridgeshire County Council said: “We welcome this news of increased funding for 2015/16. It acknowledges the dire financial situation Cambridgeshire’s schools have been in for many years, as well as the tireless work that has been done by many people and organisations – particularly the Cambridgeshire Schools Forum - to raise the issue at the highest level.
“The extra funding is a step in the right direction – but there is a long way to go. Cambridgeshire has been chronically underfunded for many years and while today’s announcement is good news, we need to continue our work to secure a fairer approach to funding schools in the long term.”
Philip Hodgson, chair of the Cambridgeshire Schools Forum added: “I am pleased the Government has at last recognised the problem – but the extra money is needed now. This only starts to address the underlying low level of funding schools have suffered from for many years. We are also still awaiting the long-promised consultation on the future of funding for schools.”