MP backs Coventry school heads in campaign against cuts that will 'harm children' - The Coventry Observer

MP backs Coventry school heads in campaign against cuts that will 'harm children'

Coventry Editorial 3rd Apr, 2017   0

A CITYWIDE schools’ campaign against planned government cuts to Coventry schools – in which parents are warning kids’ education will be put at risk and teachers’ jobs lost – is being backed by a city MP.

Coventry North west Labour MP Geoffrey Robinson has added his voice to a campaign backed by Coventry headteachers against funding changes nationwide for schools up to 2020 – as featured on the front page of last week’s Coventry Observer.

Mr Robinson said: “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. Quite simply we 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.”

Mr Robinson MP 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.

“The government’s efficiency target for schools is putting improved educational standards at risk at a time when Coventry is working hard to raise standards across our schools.

“The Governments spends £39.1billion funding our schools. With rising pupil numbers across the country, the increase in spending to £42.6billion by 2019-20 does not keep up with costs and inflation.”

The government’s planned new ‘National Funding Formula’ for all schools from April next year is designed to reduce inequalities across the country and help more disadvantaged areas.

But campaigners say Coventry would lose out by up to 1.5% per pupil in 2018/19, rising to up to 2.9% in 2019/20. This is now the subject of a consultation ending on March 22.

The total ringfenced schools’ government funding for Coventry in 2016/7 – called dedicated schools grant (DSG) – is £275million.


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