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County Tory MPs meet with Schools Minister

4th June 2013

At a meeting held yesterday at the Department for Education, local Conservative MPs, Andrew Lansley, Sir Jim Paice, Jonathan Djanogly, Shailesh Vara and Steve Barclay called for Cambridgeshire to receive an increased and fairer funding settlement for its schools.

Following the publication of the most recent grant figures, Cambridgeshire will receive the lowest school block funding per pupil (£3950) out of all of the 151 local Authorities. The difference per pupil level of funding means, for example, that a child in neighbouring Peterborough will generate £500 more funding than a Cambridgeshire child. This represents the cost of around six teachers per primary school at average pay levels.

If Cambridgeshire was funded at the England average, this would generate additional funding of some £44 million for Cambridgeshire schools. The local MPs highlighted the unfairness of the current funding formula and gave examples of hardship that is resulting in local schools.

They also requested that the review of the funding formula, previously promised by the government, should be moved forward to implementation as soon as possible.

Responding to the Cambridgeshire MPs the Minister, David Laws MP, said that the government recognises the existing funding formula as being “very unfair” and also “imbalanced”. He also acknowledged that the current formula inherited from the previous government “cannot be defended”. However, he also cautioned that his ability to make changes would be related to the outcome of the overall government spending review towards the end of June.

Responding to the Minister’s comments, Jonathan Djanogly, Member of Parliament for the Huntingdon constituency said:

“I was very pleased to hear the Minister acknowledge, so strongly, that the current system is unfair and I believe that he now has a better understanding how particularly poorly the current system works for Cambridgeshire. Clearly, the next few weeks are important ones, in terms of prioritisation of funding allocation, with the people at the top and so I and my colleagues have today written to the Chancellor of the Exchequer expressing our jointly held concerns for the funding of Cambridgeshire schools. I would encourage anyone else who feel strongly on this issue to do likewise.”

Jonathan Djanogly with other Cambs MPs at the Department for Education


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