The Government has announced that per pupil funding in Cambridgeshire will increase by 7%, marking the biggest increase for any county after intense lobbying from Cambridgeshire MPs, schools, and parents.
There is no issue on which I have lobbied more strongly over the last few years (Schools Minister Visits North East Cambridgeshire, MPs lobby Minister for changes to funding of Cambridgeshire schools, Presenting a Petition to the Schools Minister). The legacy of the funding formula from the last Labour government cast a shadow over local schools, as it diverted money to cities at the expense of shire counties which was both unfair and damaging to local children.
Cambridgeshire’s per pupil funding is now set to improve, with our local schools receiving an increase in funding of £275 per pupil from April 2015, so that schools will now receive £4,225 per pupil instead of the existing £3,950. In total this amounts to an extra £20 million for Cambridgeshire schools.
Today’s announcement sits alongside the significant capital investment in local schools – one of the first acts of this Parliament was to agree and sign contracts for investment in rebuilding the Thomas Clarkson and Neale-Wade Academies, as well as significant improvements to buildings at Cromwell College and Sir Harry Smith Community College. More recently we have secured capital investment for the College of West Anglia in Wisbech, such as the £4.6m of funding awarded by the Government to build a new teaching centre and upgrade existing facilities at the Isle Campus in Wisbech.
The improvement to the per pupil funding in Cambridgeshire is a huge boost to local schools. It will help heads, governors and teachers to more fully unlock the brilliant potential of local students. People often say that politics does not matter, that the views of local people are not heard. Well today the views of parents, teachers and MPs across Cambridgeshire have been heard. It has made a difference. Our schools will now receive the highest increase in per pupil funding of any area in the country. It is very welcome news.