St Ivo School headteacher criticises “outrageous” education funding


- Credit: Archant

A HEADTEACHER says pupils are missing out on the best grades because of the county’s “outrageous” lack of education funding.

St Ivo School’s Howard Gilbert said it was terrible that his pupils’ chances “could be affected by a lottery in funding”.

Cambridgeshire was revealed to be the lowest-funded education authority in England earlier this month, receiving just £3,949.94 per pupil – when the national average is £4,549.96 per pupil.

Mr Gilbert said: “It is outrageous that the system operates seemingly on a basis of historical chance.

“It is very frustrating to operate from such a low base. There is no reason for it and yet we are still accountable in the same way to Ofsted when it comes to inspections.”

Schools minister David Laws, who has been meeting Cambridgeshire headteachers and councillors to discuss the funding gap, has assured teachers that the county will get a fairer funding settlement by 2015.

However, Mr Gilbert said: “Some of the pupils at the school now won’t be here in 2015.

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“Many are suffering with this funding situation today.

“It is one thing to say something and another to start doing something about it.”

Mr Laws believes simplfying Cambridgeshire’s complex funding system will help – but former Hinchingbrooke School headteacher Peter Downes said: “Simpler does not equal fairer.”

In an article for the Liberal Democrat’s East Anglian spring conference, the Brampton district councillor said: “The evidence of recent developments, backed up by years of experience from those who have been closely involved in school funding, is that simple is usually unfair and fairness requires complexity.

“Whether Mr Gove will listen remains to be seen.”