Schools in Cornwall will suffer from 5 more years of under-funding if Conservative plans to freeze education budgets after the General Election go ahead, Dan Rogerson MP has warned.
Speaking after a House of Commons debate on fair funding for rural schools on 10th March, North Cornwall’s Lib Dem MP Dan Rogerson said that it would be ‘practically impossible’ to deliver a fair national funding formula for schools in rural regions like Cornwall if the schools budget is frozen in the next Parliament.
For years the national schools funding formula has meant that schools in Cornwall get up to £350-per-pupil less than schools in other parts of the country.
Lib Dem Schools Minister David Laws has taken the first steps towards a new, fairer funding formula by delivering a substantial £350 million boost to schools in poorly funded parts of the country, including Cornwall, in 2015/16.
This introduces a new minimum level of funding that every school in the country will receive, helping to narrow the gap between the lowest-funded areas and the best.
The Lib Dem Pupil Premium has also delivered a substantial funding boost for schools in Cornwall since 2010.
But Dan Rogerson - who served as Liberal Democrat Education spokesman in the House of Commons from 2010 until 2013 – said progress towards a fair school funding would stop if school budgets are frozen at their current level for the next 5 years by the Conservatives.
Mr Rogerson said:
“Young people in Cornwall deserve the same amount of money spent on their education as pupils in the rest of the country.
“Lib Dem Schools Minister David Laws has taken the first steps to introducing fair national funding formula, to end the years of under-funding that Cornish schools have had to put up with.
“But to have truly fair funding for schools we need to prioritise increases in education budgets to low-funded areas like Cornwall, until they are brought up to the national average. This means poorly funded areas benefit without having to cut funding for other parts of the country.
“Yet Conservative plans to freeze education budgets for the next five years would make creating a fair national schools funding formula practically impossible.”