Huppert says Cambridgeshire pupils deserve better

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Media captionJulian Huppert says: "We must never bankrupt our children's future - they only get one shot"

It's an old chestnut but the fact that the funding formula leaves Cambridgeshire's schools wanting is critical to the future of the county's children.

Cambridge Liberal Democrat MP Julian Huppert has raised the fact that the annual budget for schools is around £600 per head less than the English average at Westminster.

He believes the county's children are paying for poor funding decisions made over the last 30 years.

"The county's schools are short changed by a massive £34m," he said.

"Cambridgeshire has a systematic problem, in terms of the basic funding that pupils get.

"Ever since the cutback on funding for schools in the 80s, Cambridgeshire schools have been under-resourced. Government after government has just continued to underpay Cambridgeshire schools."

I told you it was an old chestnut but Dr Huppert reinvigorated the argument.

"Education should always be a priority whatever financial situation we find ourselves in. We must never bankrupt our children's future - they only get one shot."

Schools in Cambridgeshire receive £4,643.51 per pupil under 16 from the government, which gives the county council one of the lowest settlements in the country - coming 143rd out of 151 authorities.

And under a new funding system being introduced, it gets even worse, giving Cambridgeshire the least of any of the 151 local authorities - £3,950 per pupil per year when the English average is £4,550.

The Lib Dem MP asked: "What possible reason can the government give for why pupils in Cambridgeshire deserve 13% less funding than across the rest of the country?"

"Just think what our schools could do with an extra £600 for every pupil they have," he concluded.

It's a question that seems even more odd in a city with a world renowned university and science park.