Cambridge MP Daniel Zeichner has today slammed the Government’s plans for schools funding, which he says will fail to give Cambridgeshire schools the resources they need to cope with rising costs and pressures in the coming years.
Just before Christmas, the Education Secretary announced reforms to the funding formula for schools. After a long and hard fought campaign for better funding, Cambridgeshire schools had expected a positive outcome, but instead will on average see an increase of around just 2% in cash terms by 2019/20 when compared to their funding this year – an effective real-terms cut.
But the changes in distribution also means that far from all Cambridgeshire schools gaining, while around 129 Cambridgeshire primary schools will make small cash gains, 69 will be worse off under the new funding plans. With the number of pupils in the region anticipated to grow in the years ahead, it also remains unclear how this growth in Cambridgeshire will be funded. The Institute for Fiscal Studies has estimated that there will be at least a 7% real terms reduction in per-pupil spending between 2015-16 and 2019-20.
Daniel Zeichner MP said: “Representatives from Cambridge and Cambridgeshire have campaigned long and hard for fairer funding for their schools, but have been sold short by the Government’s miserable pre-Christmas announcement. As schools return to a new term, the bitter truth is that this meagre 2% for some will quickly be offset by a whole range of rising costs - and there’s even worse news for the 69 primary schools in Cambridgeshire that are set to lose out by even more. The Government needs to think again, and make sure that our schools have the resources they need to deliver a twenty-first century education for our children.”