In December figures for the ‘Guaranteed Units of Funding’ (GUF) for 2011-2012 were published by the Department for Education. While children in the City of London will receive £9373 per pupil, Cornish children will have to make do with £4663. Cornwall is 136th on the list of 151 local authorities, in terms of educational funding, with each pupil receiving over £400 less than the average child in England.
Last July, Mebyon Kernow leader, Dick Cole, proposed that Cornwall Council called on the new coalition government to set up a commission to investigate fairer funding of Cornwall’s public services. The resolution was passed despite attempts by the Conservative leader of the Council, Alec Robertson, to stop it.
While Clegg and Cameron shuffle funding around the system and call it a pupil premium, Mebyon Kernow call on Cornwall’s politicians to demand fairer funding for Cornwall’s children.
Cornwall’s rural setting and culture of smaller, less centralised communities means that we face challenges that schools in London simply don’t have. Transport, recruitment and the cost of supply staff are particular problems.
It’s time that our politicians recognised Cornwall’s needs and acted to put Cornwall first rather than grandstand for the press and then blithely carry on following their London based party political policies.