Schools in Cornwall among the worst funded in the country

Schools in Cornwall are among the worst funded in the country, with concerns about the impact on children’s life opportunities if this is not addressed.

The concerns have been raised by Cornwall Council Leader, Adam Paynter, as part of the Council’s Fair Funding #StandUpForCornwall campaign.

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"It’s clearly unfair that Cornwall receives £1,645 less per pupil than the ten best funded boroughs in inner London."

“Central Government is currently reviewing local authority funding for our public services and our Fair Funding campaign has been timed to highlight the difference between the richest and poorest funded schools in the country.

“Cornwall’s schools are not receiving the funds needed from government to give pupils the best possible start in life. In fact, we are in the bottom 9 areas in the country for school funding.”

“Being fair to the next generation starts with making sure that every child in Cornwall has the same chance of going to a good school which is decently resourced. We hope Whitehall listens to us and also our campaign and re-balances this injustice.”

Insisting that it’s not just schools that lack fair funding but Further Education Colleges too, David Walrond, Principal of Truro and Penwith College added his voice to the fair funding campaign.

“The post-16 funding picture in Cornwall is particularly bleak. We know that schools are facing great challenges in terms of funding, but austerity-led hits on the post-16 budget have been significantly worse.

“That does not just damage the prospects or life chances of Cornwall’s youth, it damages the socio-economic prospects of the county as a whole. This chronic under-investment in skills puts us completely at odds with all our successful economic competitors,” He said.

Talking specifically about funding in schools, Head Teacher of Humphry Davy School, Bill Marshall commented: “There are over 68,000 state school pupils in Cornwall and each one deserves the support and resource to reach their full potential.

“Cornwall Association of Secondary Head Teachers (CASH) fully supports the Council’s Fair Funding campaign to secure better funding for the young people of Cornwall, and we think the Government needs to go back to the blackboard and increase the funds they provide so Cornwall can keep pace with ever increasing pupil numbers.

“Historic spending doesn’t match the current level of need in our schools and children in Cornwall should receive the same investment as anywhere else in the country. We need a fairer allocation of money.”

“For instance, a primary school with a head count of 400 pupils in Cornwall receives on average £376,000 less than schools in Greenwich, London.  A secondary school with 1,400 pupils in Cornwall receives £2million less than the same size school in Greenwich.

“Our schools need to be given the same ‘tools’ to deliver as other better-funded parts of the country.  Our children all sit the same exams and our schools are judged by the same Ofsted criteria.” 

“Different schools with different social needs should, of course, be funded differently. They should not, however, be compromised and disadvantaged by such vast and persistent financial differences.”

He further added: “In November 2017, the Social Mobility Commission confirmed that 18 of the Top 20 areas for upward social mobility are in London.  Frequently, the worst areas for mobility are unsurprisingly found within the lowest funded authorities.

“The #StandUpForCornwall campaign is an opportunity for the voice of Cornwall to be heard. Use it to support the children of Cornwall, they are our future.” He said.

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Story posted 13 March 2018