Cambs schools in funding boost

A �12.5MILLION funding boost for Cambridgeshire schools has been welcomed by MPs and officials.

The money is designed to relieve the pressure on school places and comes after a group of MPs from across the county campaigned for extra funding, raising the issue in the Commons.

The MPs received a promise from Education Minister Michael Gove to review the county’s grant funding and the latest investment is part of an additional �600m for schools across England this year.

It comes on top of the �800m already announced for 2012/13 to address the shortage in pupil places.

South East Cambs MP James Paice said: “The news that the Department for Education has allocated Cambridgeshire a further �12.5m of funding for 2012/13 demonstrates that we are getting our message across, and that Government recognises the disadvantage that we face under the current funding system.”

A county council spokesman said: “We are delighted that the Government have recognised the need to provide more funding for new school places for areas with high demographic growth.

“It is the role of the Local Authority to ensure that there are sufficient school places for all children and young people who want one.

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“So while we had been confident of being able to do that from within our current capital programme, this funding will enable us to look again at our school capital priorities to make sure that we are meeting the most pressing need across the county in the most effective way.”

Cambridge MP Julian Huppert added: “This extra money is good news and will so some way to addressing the massive shortfall in funding for schools across Cambridge and the county as a whole.

“Our schools have been near the bottom of the pile compared to other local authorities across the country and while this payment helps with school buildings, we are still millions of pounds short of the national average for what we can spend on our pupils.”