Last week’s front page story regarding school funding – or apparent lack of – in Lincolnshire seems to be yet another example of how poorly funded the county is in overall terms. It seems to be a case once again of ‘the forgotten county’.
Only a few weeks ago we were hearing of the attempts of the Police and Crime Commissioner to get more funding as apparently the county also suffers from lack of investment in that area as well.
So when you come to look at the county as a whole we seem to be suffering from less in comparison to other areas of the country in almost everything: roads, transport links (thanks primarily to Mr Beeching all those years ago), police and now education.
As far as I could tell there was nothing in last week’s Budget to give any hope that the county might get an increase in any funding. And it’s no real comfort for the Department for Education to say the schools budget had been protected by ensuring authorities are receiving the same basic amount per pupil as in 2010, five years ago!
In that time most of the county has seen an increase in migrants, and there has been a corresponding increase in pupils who have a share from the same education pot.
This increase in pupils has seen a corresponding increase in the number taking GCSE exams and I believe there is a cost per exam which comes out of the schools’ budgets. I do not for one moment suggest that fewer pupils should take these important exams; true, they should all have a chance and be entered but the extra cost involved because of the influx of migrants’ children does not appear to lead to a big enough increase in the amount allocated to schools.
Government and county cuts have seen less money for the police and by the same token this cut in money also means they have less to adequately look after an increasing population. The relatively small increase in the local tax we pay to the police may go some way in alleviating the position for them but if we wish to have a decent service we must be prepared to pay for it.