Every child, regardless of background, has the right to a first-class education. Despite the tough economic circumstances we inherited, Liberal Democrats introduced our flagship £2.5bn Pupil Premium. The Pupil Premium helps children from disadvantaged backgrounds get a head start in life by providing their schools with additional resources to support their learning and development. We also introduced free school meals so that infants gets a hot, nutritious meal at school.
To ensure children get an excellent education, we need our schools to be funded properly. Here in Cambridge we are underfunded – our schools are still receiving about £600 less per pupil per year than they should be. I’ve been fighting hard to get more money for our schools, and I was very pleased to secure an additional £23.2 million each year, but that still leaves us under the national average. I will continue to fight to get a fair level of funding for our kids.
I have also been lobbying the Government very hard to stop sixth form colleges paying VAT. Schools and academy sixth form colleges don’t pay any VAT – so why should sixth form colleges? I recently asked David Cameron to review this policy at Prime Minister’s Questions and I was pleased he agreed to. I will continue to press the Government about this.