Labour will look at ‘unfair’ education spending for region

Shadow education secretary Tristram Hunt. Photo: Yui Mok/PA Wire.

Shadow education secretary Tristram Hunt. Photo: Yui Mok/PA Wire. - Credit: PA

The long-standing funding formula which sees Norfolk, Suffolk and Cambridgeshire children lose out on government funding to some more successful inner-city counterparts will be looked at by Labour, its shadow education secretary has said.

But Tristram Hunt said he would not hold a big review on winning power, claiming he would look at it 'on our own terms'.

The government has promised to raise per-pupil funding by 3.7pc in Norfolk to £4,494, 7pc in Cambridgeshire to £4,225 and 2.5pc in Suffolk to £4,347 this year.

But it has fallen short of a long-term overhaul of the funding system, which will still see each student in the county receive around half of the allocation in the City of London, which will get £8,594.55 for each pupil. Schools watchdog Ofsted raised particular concerns over standards in East Anglia – which it said had the worst-performing schools in the country. Mr Hunt said yesterday: 'It is no longer equitable that a child in Tower Hamlets will be getting roughly double the funding of a child in Hastings and yet the results in Tower Hamlets may well be better in Hastings.

'The challenge of schooling is often in coastal towns, in rural areas and in market towns and so over time we hope to move towards greater fairness in the funding system.

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'But we are not going to come in and do a big review of the funding because this government tried that and after four and a half years it produced some transitional funding settlement.

'There are issues about inner urban living and inner urban costs which do need to be addressed in funding formula, but I also appreciate if we are getting the results and attainment, and the challenge is in more outlying areas, then that needs to be reflected in funding.'

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Do politicians need to do more to address funding inequalities? Write (giving your full contact details) to: The Letters Editor, EDP, Prospect House, Rouen Road, Norwich NR1 1RE or email

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