Huntingdon MP joins fight for fairer funding for schools

AN extra �99million could erase some of the inequality in the funding for schools in Cambridgeshire and the other local education authorities that prop up the bottom of the Government funding table.

Huntingdon MP Jonathan Djanogly, along with 39 other Conservative MPs, has signed a letter asking Chancellor George Osborne, to re-allocate money within the education budget in order to address the inequality of the current structure.

The letter has been sent by the f40 group, which campaigns for fairer funding and wants to change the way the Government allocates money to local authorities and schools.

Cambridgeshire receives some of the lowest levels of funding under the Government’s dedicated schools grant – in 2012/13 it was allocated �4,643.51 per pupil and is ranked 148th out of 152 local authorities (f40 figures put it at 143rd out of 151).

The average was �5,082.54 per pupil while the best funded areas received about �1,200 per pupil more than Cambridgeshire (much more in the case of the City of London – it was given �9,372.60 per pupil).

The lowest ranked authority for 2012/2013 was Leicestershire, which was allocated �4,428.70 per pupil.

The system is just not fair, Mr Djanogly said, and could be remedied with a relatively small amount of money.

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He told The Hunts Post. “The Government has acknowledged that the system is unfair, but they don’t want to address it until 2015 – it would open up many other areas that are not a priority at the moment.

“The letter says that we should look at the issue immediately.”

The �99m identified by the group, which is already within the education budget, would uplift the funding of the worst 40 funded areas in England, he added.

The proposal was put by f40 to the Secretary of State for Education, Michael Gove, earlier this year and rejected, but the group is not giving up.

“It’s not additional money,” Mr Djanogly added. “There will not be an impact on the taxpayers as the amount is within the education budget.”