Last week I welcomed two government announcements confirming funding to create extra school places in Cornwall.
Firstly, councils will receive an extra £50million to create around 740 additional school places and state-of-the-art facilities for children with special educational needs and disabilities (SEND), giving families more choice and helping to meet increasing demand. Cornwall will be given more than £2.3million in the three years from 2018 to 2021, after an uplift of £444,957 to its initial allocation of just over £1.9million.
Secondly, councils will receive £680million in basic need funding to create 40,000 more good school places in primary and secondary schools by September 2021. Cornwall will be given more than £27million in the three years from 2018 to 2021, at an average of over £9million a year. That compares with an average of just over £5.5million a year in the seven years from 2011 to 2018.
This funding will have a positive impact so that every child in Cornwall – regardless of their needs, background or circumstances – has access to a good school place to help them get the best possible start in life and achieve their full potential, whatever challenges they may face.
The funding boost comes as new analysis shows 91% of school places created in 2016/17 were in schools rated as good or outstanding by Ofsted. Improving education attainment has contributed to the fact that youth unemployment has fallen, on average, by over 140 young people every day since 2010.
I am working hard in Parliament making the case for more investment into the schools and post 16 education budgets because I appreciate that the budgets for our local schools are not growing at the same pace as the increased costs in delivering the high quality education our local young people experience. Thanks to the hard work of our school leaders and teachers more children and young people are receiving a good or outstanding education compared to 2010.
Cornwall Council has developed a Local Plan that is about building more homes and flats to buy and rent that local people can genuinely afford and developing essential local infrastructure too. This new extra funding will ensure that there are more good school places for our growing community.
For some time I have been encouraging Cornwall Council to work with local people to shape and build local sustainable communities.
I am pleased that Cornwall Council, Truro City Council, Truro Chamber of Commerce, Truro BID and Kenwyn Parish Council are working together and have appointed Lavigne Lonsdale and PBWC to help generate ideas to support “a thriving Truro” both now and in the longer term. This work builds on the success of the Truro & Kenwyn Neighbourhood Plan and considers all aspects of life in and around Truro from our natural environment to education, health and wellbeing, employment, food and energy, homes and enterprise. Do have your say on the future of this great place and visit: https://lovetruro.net before the consultation closes at the end of June.
First published in the West Briton 14/06/18