More than 1,300 Cambridge residents have come out in force to support MP Julian Huppert’s campaign to make sure the government implements extra funding for the city’s schools as a matter of urgency.
They have have signed Julian’s online petition or supported him in writing, calling on Education Secretary Michael Gove to implement the proposals announced by Lib Dem Schools Minister David Laws that would give Cambridgeshire schools a desperately needed £20.5 million. The petition is still available online at http://bit.ly/CambsSchoolsFunding
They told Mr Gove: “For too long our schools have been starved of money, receiving £600 less per pupil than the national average. We welcome the £20 million extra funding you have offered to provide to help with this, and urge you to implement it as quickly as possible. Please don’t leave Cambridge children shortchanged any longer!”
Julian will present the results to Mr Gove, to make sure he goes ahead with the proposals, and does’t change his mind as a result of the consultation.
“We are close to getting some of the funding we need to help our schools,” said Julian, “and I want to make sure the government implements it as a matter of urgency.
“They have acted where other governments have failed in the last 30 years and I want to make sure this funding reaches schools as soon as possible. I and others have fought hard for this money and I don’t want it to slip away now.
“Our children deserve the best education we can provide for them and teachers across the city and county generally are doing a great job against a backdrop of chronic underfunding. The government has recognised that Cambridgeshire schools are at the bottom of the national funding league table; now it must follow through and give us the money we need.”
Julian was congratulated for his “robust campaigning” on the issue by Mr Laws who said areas like Cambridge, which have seen an unfair amount of funding, would receive the greatest boost.
He has campaigned on this issue for over a decade, led a Westminster debate on the schools under-funding issue and has been pushing ministers to act. He said the seven per cent increase was welcome news after schools suffered years of financial neglect under successive governments.
The new settlement will give a two form entry primary school with 420 pupils an extra £275 per pupil per year from £3,950 to £4,225 that means the school will receive a total increase of £115,500.