The campaign to secure better funding for Cambridgeshire's schools is continuing "“ despite recent concessions from the Government.
Cambridgeshire Schools Forum, an apolitical representative body of head teachers and governors, is continuing its fight to narrow the funding gap between the higher and lower funded local authorities.
Until recently, Cambridgeshire received the lowest level of funding of any local authority in the country "“ 151st out of 151.
From this month (April) Cambridgeshire will receive an extra Â£23m "“ the equivalent of an additional Â£304 per pupil "“ but this will move the county only up to 136th place in the funding table.
The Forum is continuing the campaign to secure better funding for the county to bring it in line with neighbouring authorities. The failure to address this issue will mean that schools in lower funded authorities will face considerable challenges in responding to the continuing education reforms.
If Cambridgeshire was funded at the England average of Â£4,612 per pupil, this would provide additional funding of nearly Â£27m for Cambridgeshire schools, or Â£360 per pupil over 2015/16 levels.
Furthermore, a child in neighbouring Norfolk will generate Â£253 more in funding than a Cambridgeshire child. For a standard primary school this results in a difference of Â£106,000 a year in funding, which represents the cost of around three teachers at average pay levels.
Philip Hodgson, Chair of the Cambridgeshire Schools Forum said: "This inequality in funding is having a direct impact on teaching and learning. Schools in Cambridgeshire are experiencing problems recruiting senior and middle teachers because of high housing and transport costs, and cannot afford recruitment incentives.
"In addition, Cambridgeshire has one of the largest gaps between the achievement of pupils of all ages who are deprived and those who are affluent. It is difficult to accelerate rapidly the achievement of vulnerable groups from a low funding base. Furthermore, Cambridgeshire is one of the fastest growing counties in the country, and whilst filling to capacity, every new school we build is subsidised by all other schools in the area."
The Schools Forum held a briefing meeting which was open to all prospective parliamentary Cambridgeshire candidates for the general election. This was to bring them up to date with the education funding concerns.