From the archive 11.10.1991

Cuts blight strikes Major's 'backyard'

Eight secondary schools in the prime minister's Cambridgeshire constituency face cuts totalling #163;500,000 because of the way the Government calculates its grants to local authorities.

One Huntingdon school, Hinchingbrooke comprehensive, which pioneered the financial delegation scheme that led to development of local management of schools, stands to lose #163;82,000. At the other end of the scale, Sawtry Village College, where Mr Major holds constituency meetings, may lose around #163;30,000.

Headteachers throughout Cambridgeshire have been warned they will have to shoulder the burden of a cut in secondary education spending of more than #163;2 million, which is needed to prevent the council being capped under the Government's spending plans.

John Seaman, chairman of Cambridgeshire's education committee, lobbied MPs at this week's Tory Party conference and said "I am most unhappy about the saving we have to make.

"Unless there is a realisation of our problems and we get some extra funding from Government we will have to go through this painful exercise next year and slowly but surely destroy the excellence in Cambridgeshire's education."

The proposed savings, currently out to consultation, arise from #163;31.05 million cut in education's base budget and more than #163;1 million being switched from secondary schools to meet the rising cost of special needs and free school meals.

A final decision on the cuts will be made at the November meeting of the council.

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