South Cambs secondary schools urge parents to contact MPs over ‘unfair’ school funding reforms during second consultation

Melbourn Village College principal Simon Holmes.

Melbourn Village College principal Simon Holmes. - Credit: Archant

Parents and carers of students at Bassingbourn and Melbourn village colleges, as well as other secondary schools in South Cambs, were sent letters on Friday urging them to contact their MP in a bid to make a difference to how schools are funded.

Melbourn Village College.

Melbourn Village College. - Credit: Archant

The letters were sent as a last-ditch effort by the schools during the second stage consultation of the new national schools funding formula, spearheaded by education secretary Justine Greening MP with the goal of making funding fairer by 2018-19.

In the consultation document, Mrs Greening said: “No matter where they live, whatever their background, ability or need, children should have access to an excellent education that unlocks talent and creates opportunity.

“The current system does not support this aspiration.”

However, Cambs schools currently get less money than their Herts counterparts, and are one of the lowest-funded authorities in the country – and in the plans, around a third of these schools will receive less money than they did previously.

Those who gain will typically receive overall increases of less than one per cent.

A Melbourn Village College spokeswoman said in response: “This will do is going to do little to close the gap between Cambs and other authorities.”

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In a letter to parents, Melbourn principal Simon Holmes said: “We were pleased when the current government announced that they were to overhaul the funding formula and deliver on its promise to introduce ‘fair funding’ – that for the first time it would not matter which part of the country you lived in, a pupil would receive the same amount of money in order to be educated.

“However, it has become apparent over the past few months that this will not be the case. The proposed new funding formula will in fact lock in the existing poor levels of funding, with only minor adjustments.”

The consultation ends on Wednesday next week. To take part see