Sefton Central Labour MP Bill Esterson: Pupil Premium doesn't co

Bill Esterson


Sefton Central Labour MP Bill Esterson said Tory-Lib Dem cuts had taken much more away from our local schools than the discredited Pupil Premium was claimed to be putting in.

The Labour MP warned that lots of schools were struggling to balance their budgets because of the extent of the Tory-Lib Dem cuts.

Bill said Sefton children were being shortchanged by the Tories and Lib Dems.

Bill said: "The Pupil Premium is not working in the way it was intended, because it fails to offset the cuts the Tory-Lib Dem Government has made to the schools' budget.

"The government claimed that the Pupil Premium would be new money targeted at less well-off pupils. However, only 1 in 10 head teachers say the Pupil Premium is having a significant effect on supporting pupils from less well-off backgrounds, and that the funding is being used to plug holes in schools budgets.

"While the Tories and their Lib Dem friends claim that they have frozen funding to education - which itself amounts to a real-terms cut - the Institute of Fiscal Studies reports that spending on education between now and 2014-15 will fall by 13%. This is the fastest fall in funding in a four-year period since the 1950s.

"That's why we have seen school sports partnerships cut. And why we are seeing a massive rise in the number of schools where class sizes are over 30. Something which the last Labour Government had wiped out.

"These are the facts of the matter. The Tories and Lib Dems are selling our schools, and our children, short."

Bill said the Tory-Lib Dem axing of the previous Labour Government's Primary Capital Programme meant that far too many schools were falling into a state of disrepair without the money to make improvements.

Bill said: "As we can all remember, schools up and down the country benefited from investment thanks to the last Labour Government. Schools were refurbished or rebuilt as part of the Primary Capital Programme.

"We wanted to ensure that every pupil had the chance to go to a good school, in good condition, with good equipment, regardless of where they came from or how much money their parents had.

"But this Tory-Lib Dem Government immediately axed the Primary Capital Programme. So what we are seeing now is a return to the bad old days where far too many state schools are falling into disrepair. 

"And our excellent headteachers are not being given the resources to put the problem right.

"These are the facts. 

"So while I obviously welcome any increase in funding, this is nothing short than a drop in the ocean compared to what the Tories and their Lib Dem allies have snatched away from our schools and our children."

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