HEREFORDSHIRE Council has joined the f40 group of local authorities to lobby government for better funding for schools.

Made up of the 40 lowest funded authorities in Britain, the campaign group hopes to persuade government to introduce a better schools settlement for its members.

According to last year's school funding league tables, Herefordshire Council is 147th out of 149 authorities in the country and, although this year's amount has risen by 6.7% per pupil, Herefordshire is still the third-worst funded in the country.

"Herefordshire children get less funding per head for their education than most other children in the UK, yet our examination results are always good," said Councillor Don Rule, cabinet member for children and young people.

"But we cannot be complacent, and with the number of children set to reduce over the next few years, we do not want to wait for performance to suffer before we get a better funding deal," he added.

The f40 group has focused its attention on trying to change the way the government allocates its education funding to local authorities and schools. It believes recent changes have been unfair, claiming the gap between the haves' and have nots' in education continue to grow.

Progress has been made in recent years and positive discussions have taken place with the Department for Education and Skills about funding arrangements for next year and beyond.

The aim of these talks was to see a fair funding system for every child based on costs so that pupils in similar schools in similar parts of the country get the same level of funding.

Mr Rule concluded: "It is important for us to join forces with other poorly funded authorities to work on successsfully influencing the next funding review for 2008-09."