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CAMBRIDGESHIRE REACHES FUNDING AGREEMENT

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Cambridgeshire CC has struck a face-saving deal with the government to bring to an end its bitter dispute over educ...
Cambridgeshire CC has struck a face-saving deal with the government to bring to an end its bitter dispute over education funding.

Cambridgeshire has agreed to increase funding to schools by£15.5m next year -£4m more than the council had budgeted for - in response to pressure from the Department for Education & Skills.

The extra provision will be partially funded by a£1.75m advance from the DfES, to be deducted from the council's standard fund allocations in 2006-07 and 2008-09.

The remaining£2.25m will be raised through council tax, which will now increase by 6.9% instead of the 6% the county had been planning.

The government had threatened to force Cambridgeshire to increase its schools spending after the council said it planned to passport only 71% of its increase in education funding to schools (LGC, 23 January).

Cambridgeshire leader Keith Walters (Con) said the compromise, under which the council will passport 96% of its increase, was the best the council could have achieved.

'Had we lost our battle with government, Cambridgeshire's residents would have faced a 9% increase [in council tax],' he said.

But education secretary Charles Clarke said he was 'very disappointed' Cambridgeshire would still not be passporting in full, despite an 8% increase in formula grant.

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