Schools funding gap is addressed

Matthew Hancock MP welcomed the news
Matthew Hancock MP welcomed the news

Schools funding is on the rise in Suffolk and Cambridgeshire as part of a £350 million national boost to the most under-funded authorities.

Suffolk will benefit from an additional £9.2 million – £105 per pupil extra – in 2015/16.

Jim Paice MP welcomed the news

Jim Paice MP welcomed the news

Cambridgeshire will get an extra £20 million as the Government pot aims to address the historic unfairness in the way school funding is allocated.

The announcement came last Thursday (March 13).

West Suffolk MP and skills minister Matthew Hancock said: “For years there has been a postcode lottery which means pupils across the country attracted very different levels of funding for no good reason.

“We are now putting an end to that, and Suffolk is getting more than £9 million to make good the shortfall, which means an extra £105 for each pupil.

Matthew Hancock MP welcomed the news

Matthew Hancock MP welcomed the news

“Creating a fair funding system is vital if we are going to deliver the best schools and skills for our young people, which is central to our long-term economic plan.

“This announcement is great news for West Suffolk as it represents a huge step towards removing the unfairness in the school funding system.”

Sir Jim Paice MP has been campaigning to see Cambridgeshire get increased schools funding.

“For too many years Cambridgeshire has received a very low level of funding compared with much of the rest of the county due to historical accident and an out-of-date assessment of need,” said the South East Cambridgeshire MP.

“This announcement by the Government is really good news and long overdue recognition of what I and many others in Cambridgeshire have been saying for a very long time.

“I know that many schools in Cambridgeshire will face a difficult year before this extra money is available to them but I am very pleased that there is now the prospect of real change in the very near future.”

The announcement was made in a statement to the house by schools’ minister David Laws MP.

“These proposals mean that local authorities that receive unfairly low amounts of funding such as Cambridgeshire will have a significant boost to their funding,” he said.

“Based on indicative figures, Cambridgeshire will see a long-awaited increase of around seven per cent to their schools’ budget.

“That will increase Cambridgeshire’s per pupil funding rate from around £3,950 per pupil per year to £4,225 per pupil – an uplift in 2015-16 of fully £275 per pupil.

“On current estimates, this equates to a boost of around £20 million for schools in Cambridgeshire.

“I’m sure that this announcement will be welcomed by Cambridgeshire MPs and their constituents, who have campaigned for many years for fairer funding.”

The Coalition is proposing to fund schools in the 63 most under-funded local authorities, using a formula which sets minimum funding levels.

For all the latest news see tomorrow’s (Thursday, March 20) Echo.