Suffolk's pupils 'short-changed'

SCHOOL funding levels in Suffolk are amongst the lowest in the land, sparking claims that the county's children are being “short-changed”.

SCHOOL funding levels in Suffolk are amongst the lowest in the land, sparking claims that the county's children are being “short-changed”.

Spending per pupil will be £3,591.24 in the next financial year, placing Suffolk bottom in the east of England school funding league.

It means each Suffolk pupil will have nearly £300 less spent on their education than the national average.

Neighbouring counties all fare better, with Essex funding amounting to £3,752.36 per pupil, Norfolk getting £3,648.44 per pupil and Cambridgeshire getting £3,622.90 per pupil.


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The Government funding for the coming academic year was last night branded a “disgrace” by one Suffolk MP.

David Ruffley, Bury St Edmunds MP, said: “In 2007/2008 Suffolk will be receiving the 134th lowest funding in England [out of 149] for its schools and worse still we will be receiving less than all the other counties in the east of England.

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“It seems quite ridiculous to me that all the other counties in the east of England receive a higher level of funding for their schools.

“To my mind there is absolutely no justification why similar, neighbouring counties should receive more while we in Suffolk are short-changed.

“I intend to take this matter up with the education secretary Alan Johnson and demand an answer as to why his Government continues to show such scant regard for the population of Suffolk.

“The people of this county have had enough of being short-changed.”

A spokesman for the Department for Education and Skills said: “The government wants all children, irrespective of their background, to have an equal opportunity to succeed.

“Pupils from deprived backgrounds are more likely to have additional education needs and to need more support from their school to make that key aim a reality.

Leader of Suffolk County Council Jeremy Pembroke said: “We are being held back and it is not fair on our children. I welcome what Mr Spring and Mr Ruffley are doing - it needs saying.”

“So we reflect deprivation in the funding councils receive. 7.3% of Suffolk's funding through the Dedicated Schools Grant in 2007-08 will be for deprivation, compared with the national average of 10.6%. That is reflected in the level of funding Suffolk receives.”

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