Sefton Central MP, Bill Esterson has backed a campaign against cuts to school budgets in Sefton. The government has cut the money given to local schools by 12% of £462 per pupil. This means the loss of teachers at schools in Aintree, Melling, Maghull, Lydiate, Crosby and Formby.
Bill Esterson MP said, “Labour believes that every child deserves the best possible start in life, and that an excellent education is central to this. These cuts to the schools budget will mean that, for many children, this is simply not possible.
“School budgets are being pushed beyond breaking point. The government's £3 billion real terms cut to education funding must be reversed or we will see education and care suffer. Locally that is a cut of 12%, £462 per pupil and quite simply will see teachers being sacked and children missing out. In stark terms, their education will suffer.
“Already head teachers are being forced to cut staff, cut the curriculum and cut specialist support. A new funding formula is the right thing to do, but it cannot be truly fair unless there is enough money to go round in the first place.”
“These cuts are going to make it extremely difficult for schools to not only meet the increased demand of pupil numbers increasing but also to address the growing crisis in teacher recruitment and retention, as teachers will be forced to find alternative work, adding to the shortage.
“Many schools are already reporting losing staff as a result of these funding cuts, which will make it even more difficult for schools to provide the excellent education every child needs.
“Cuts to staff are falling heavily on those in support roles. This will make it all but impossible for the Conservatives to deliver on some of their pledges as the government. For instance, although the Prime Minister and Education Secretary have said that all secondary schools should have staff trained to help address the mental health needs of pupils, it is unclear how they will deliver this against a background of funding cuts and staff shortages.
Bill Esterson added: “The Conservatives are overseeing the first real terms cut in the schools budget for over two decades, the steepest our schools have faced since the 1970s.
“We are already in a situation where 60.6% of secondary academies spent more than their income in 2014/15, and these cuts will only make the situation worse for these schools.
“Simply, the Government are moving around an existing sum of money which we know is inadequate. Instead of investing in schools properly, they’re taking money from well-funded schools to under-funded schools”.
“Further cuts to the school budget and the new Funding Formula are going to put our schools into an even more difficult position than the one they are already facing.
“At the Public Accounts Committee a number of headteachers laid bare the challenge already facing our schools one actually saying “We can’t afford to buy text books. We can’t afford to send staff on training.”
”This is a dire situation for our schools and one which will only continue to get worse with the cuts put into place by this Government and their new Funding Formula.
“Schools are struggling more and more to plug the gaps in funding and we are now getting to the point where the only area schools will be able to make savings will be their qualified teachers”.