Today Sir Jim met with the new Secretary of State for Education, Nicky Morgan, and the Head Teachers of all the secondary schools in his constituency to continue to press their case for more funding for Cambridgeshire schools.
Attending the meeting with Sir Jim, and Lucy Frazer, the Conservative candidate for South East Cambridgeshire, were the Head Teachers from Bottisham Village College, Ely Community College, Impington Village College, Linton Village College, Soham Village College, Witchford Village College as well as Philip Hodgson, Chair of the Cambridgeshire Schools Forum. The meeting followed on from a discussion last year with Michael Gove who was then Secretary of State for Education.
Cambridgeshire has been consistently one of the lowest funded authorities in the country. Further funding of £20.5m was announced by the Coalition Government in March 2014 but concern remains for the situation beyond 2015/16. The meeting allowed Cambridgeshire’s voice to be heard at the highest level and influence the formulation of a new fairer funding formula. All the Head Teachers expressed their concern at the effect that years of underfunding was having upon their school and their frustration at the disparity between their available resources in comparison with schools in other counties only a short distance away.
Sir Jim said, “This is an absolutely critical issue for our local schools who are simply seeking a level playing field in terms of funding. We have been languishing at the bottom of the funding table for too long. Our schools are doing a fantastic job with the resources they have, but could do even better if they were funded at a level more comparable with schools in other counties.”
Lucy Frazer said “I have been into many schools in the area. We are lucky to have some of the most skilled teachers in the country and some incredibly able students. I will be lobbying continuously for a fairer funding formula to ensure that Cambridgeshire children get the best possible education to enable them to have the greatest possible opportunities for the future.”