Hackney Labour Councillors are among more than 1,000 councillors nationwide who are urging central  Government to increase school funding.

A letter from the National Education Union (NEU) urging Education Secretary Damian Hinds to end the school funding crisis has been signed by 1,115 local councillors in England, including Labour Councillors from Hackney.

Cllr Anntoinette Bramble, Hackney’s Deputy Mayor and Cabinet Member for Education, Young People and Children’s Social Care, helped to hand in the letter to the Secretary of State.

She said: “The Tories cannot claim that austerity is over while they continue to cut Hackney school budgets. Every penny lost from a school is a potential lost opportunity for a Hackney child or young person to live up to their full potential.

“This situation cannot go on, which is why Hackney Labour have led local campaigns to save our schools.

“We have signed the NEU Councillors Network letter to call on the government to save our schools, reverse the budget cuts since 2010, and for the funding of schools and Special Educational Needs and Disabilities (SEND) provision to be of a level that ensures all children and young people get the education they deserve, regardless of where they live.”

Locally-elected councillors from across the country have backed the campaign by the NEU’s Councillors Network, which is supported by education fair funding campaign group f40, in expressing concern about the desperate state of school funding in England and Wales.

They are urging Government to invest more money in schools in the Spending Review this year to help meet the huge funding crisis across education, which is resulting in growing budget deficits, cuts in teaching staff, a reduction in some subject areas, and a poorer education for children.

The Institute for Fiscal Studies states that schools generally have suffered a cut of 8 per cent per pupil since 2010. The Education Policy Institute has said almost a third of all council-run secondary schools are now in deficit and, according to last year’s Kreston UK report, eight in ten academies are in deficit.

In Hackney schools have lost out on an average of £476 of funding per pupil since 2015 and faced a total annual shortfall of over £15 million last year.

IFS, 2018 Annual Report on Education Spending in England: https://www.ifs.org.uk/publications/13306

The full text of the NEU Councillors Network letter is below.

Dear Damian Hinds MP,

As councillors, we are writing to express our grave concerns over the Government’s ongoing cuts to school funding.

Our excellent state-funded schools have lost out in billions of pounds in funding since 2015. The Institute for Fiscal Studies has equated this to an 8 per cent real cut per pupil in real terms, since 2010. The funding crisis has become so overwhelming that according to the Education Policy Institute, almost a third of all council-run secondary schools are now in deficit, and eight in ten academies are in deficit according to last year’s Kreston UK report.

Many schools are now desperately overwhelmed, as more and more students are competing for fewer and fewer resources. Compounded by biting cuts to local council services, in addition to the teacher recruitment and retention crisis, the current settlement is not tenable.

We demand that the Government address this funding crisis in its Spending Review by:

  • Reversing the cuts to school funding since 2010.
  • Giving our schools the funding they need.
  • Funding Special Educational Needs and Disabilities (SEND) provision properly.

Our children only have one chance to go through the school system. By cutting funding to schools, the Government is failing them. It must change course urgently, and give our schools, education professionals and students the proper funding they need.

Yours sincerely,

 

 

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