Head teachers seeking extra funding for Cambridgeshire’s schools have met with the Secretary of State for Education, Michael Gove.
Catherine Jenkinson-Dix, head of Ely College, Dr Carin Taylor, head of Soham Village College and Christopher Terry, head of Witchford Village College, joined forces with MP for South East Cambridgeshire, Sir Jim Paice, and Lucy Frazer, the Conservative election hopeful for South East Cambridgeshire, to meet Mr Gove.
According to recent figures, Cambridgeshire has been receiving the lowest school block funding per pupil out of all of the 151 local authorities, which has resulted in larger class sizes and fewer qualifications among teachers.
In March, the Government announced an additional £20.5million for Cambridgeshire schools for the year 2015/16 – however, the funding formula beyond 2017 has not yet been set.
The meeting was organised to ensure that Cambridgeshire’s voice is heard on the issue before any decision is made on future funding allocations.
During the meeting, Mr Gove confirmed it was the Conservatives’ intention to introduce a national funding formula in the next spending review, which he says would ensure fairer funding across the country.
Sir Jim said: “The cost of living in Cambridgeshire is high, and local people have a reasonable expectation that their schools be well funded. Yet funding for the county’s schools has been languishing at the bottom of the table for a long time.
“We have also seen high rates of growth in Cambridgeshire and migration from other parts of the UK, as well as from abroad. All this puts further pressure on our schools.”
Mrs Frazer said: “I have been into many schools in the area. We are lucky to have some of the most skilled head teachers in the country.
“To give our students the best start in life, I will be fighting continuously to try to ensure that Cambridgeshire schools get the best possible funding so our children have the brightest possible future.”
The heads of Bottisham, Impington and Linton village colleges also attended the meeting.