MP Julian Huppert has led a delegation to government to lobby for action to address Cambridgeshire’s shortfall in funding for new school places.
Julian organised a meeting yesterday (Tuesday, December 2) with Schools Minister, David Laws so he could hear his concerns and those of Cambridgeshire County Council’s Executive Director of Children, Families and Adult Services, Adrian Loades and representatives from the Cambridgeshire Schools Forum.
They told Mr Laws that the council has received just £7.4 million in basic need capital funding for new school places for 2015 to 2017 - £29 million lower than expected.
In response to demand for school places across the county, the council has a 10-year rolling programme of investment costing £584 million from 2015 to 2024.
The programme includes provision for 13 new primary schools, seven new secondary schools, two new special schools, planned expansions to 25 primary schools and six secondary schools.
Julian said: “Cambridge and the county generally are growing at a rapid rate and this shortfall in funding means school places will not be able to keep up with demand.
“The county council has identified an investment programme to address the shortfall which relies on the correct level of funding from government. It is unacceptable to expect this demand to be met when their budget has been shortchanged by a massive £29 million.
“I am pushing the government to revisit these figures so that Cambridgeshire can get the money it needs to make sure every child has a school place. We have to get this right.
"I was very satisfied with the reaction from the Minister, and am hopeful that we will secure the money that we need shortly."