"Government short-changing Suffolk schools a scandal" says Ruffley

Tuesday, 6 February, 2007

David Ruffley MP has today spoken of his outrage at the funding that Suffolk schools will be receiving from the Government in the 2007/08 academic year.

Out of the 149 Local Education Authorities in England, Suffolk comes 134th- just 15 places from the bottom.

Suffolk's allocation of £3,591.24 per pupil is less than all the other counties in the East of England.

East of England education funding per pupil for 2007/08:

Essex £3,752.36 99th

Hertfordshire £3,730.25 103rd

Norfolk £3,648.44 123rd

Bedfordshire £3,632.61 126th

Cambridgeshire £3,622.90 128th

Suffolk £3,591.24 134th

David said:

'These new House of Commons figures are an absolute disgrace. In 2007/08 Suffolk will be receiving the 134th lowest funding in England for its schools and worse still we will be receiving less than all the other counties in the East of England.

'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.

'In October 2006 I revealed figures that showed the number of teachers in Suffolk has fallen for three years in a row and now these new figures reveal yet another blow to Suffolk's education system.

'I intend to take this matter up with the Education Secretary, Alan Johnson, and demand an answer to why his Government continues to show such scant regard for the population of Suffolk.

'We see it in the funding of our NHS, in rural Post Office closures and now our schools. This Government seems determined to erode the quality of life of people in rural communities such as Suffolk.

'The people of this county have had enough of being short-changed by a Government increasingly distant from their needs and concerns.'