5 Days Remaining

Monday 16th
posted by Will Stone in Britain

Union research rubbishes Tory ‘funding drive’

SCHOOLS in every corner of England will face crippling funding cuts over the next few years with some losing more than £1,000 per pupil.

Six trade unions carried out an analysis of government figures, published today, revealing that schools in every constituency will suffer because of the cutbacks.

A new national funding formula proposed by Education Secretary Justine Greening in December claims to increase money for schools with additional needs, including deprivation.

The changes being introduced from 2018 to 2019 will allegedly see more than 10,000

schools awarded extra cash.

However the union analysis, which takes into account other factors such as inflation and the effects of cuts to the education services grant on some schools, shows that most will lose out.

The unions claim that 98 per cent of schools face a real-terms reduction in funding for every pupil, with an average loss of £339 per primary pupil and £477 for secondary.

The Labour-held constituency of Bermondsey and Old Southwark would be the worst hit, with per-pupil funding across the constituency falling by £1,051 between 2015 and 2019.

The joint research was carried out by unions the Association of Teachers and Lecturers, National Association of Head Teachers (NAHT), the National Union of Teachers (NUT), Unite, GMB and Unison.

The schools budget is protected in real terms but does not provide funding per pupil to increase in line with inflation.

This means that while a new formula can address disparities in funding the total budget must be large enough to start with, the unions say.

Their research comes after a National Audit Office report in December warned schools face a real-terms funding drop of £3 billion over the next few years.

NUT general secretary Kevin Courtney said: “Every single MP in England has reason to be worried about our latest analysis which shows how every constituency will be adversely affected by the government’s recently announced funding proposals.

“Schools are already on their knees trying to make ends meet.”

And NAHT general secretary Russell Hobby warned that school budgets are “being pushed beyond breaking point.”

The Department for Education said that the figures were “fundamentally misleading” and that school funding is at its highest level.