Councillors call on education secretary to reverse school funding cuts

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A letter from the National Education Union (NEU) urging the education secretary Damian Hinds to end the school funding crisis has been signed by 1,115 local councillors.

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The letter from councillors urges the Government to invest more in schools which are facing a 'huge' funding crisis

The letter, which urges the Government to invest more money in schools in the Spending Review to help meet the huge funding crisis across education, leaving schools forced to cut staff and a poorer education for children, will be handed to the education secretary this afternoon.

It forms part of a campaign by the NEU Councillors Network, which is supported by the education fair funding campaign group f40.

The letter refers to statistics from the Institute for Fiscal Studies, showing schools have suffered a cut of 8 per cent per pupil since 2010. It also mentions research by the Education Policy Institute, which found almost a third of all council-run secondary schools are now in deficit.

It goes on to call for cuts to school funding since 2010 to be reversed, for schools to receive the funding they need and for SEND provision to be adequately funded.

The letter concludes, ‘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.

Southwark councillor Maggie Browning, who is the convenor of the NEU Councillors Network, said, ‘The cuts to school budgets have reached epidemic levels in England and Wales. Increasingly, tighter funds mean schools across the country are narrowing their curriculum and cutting subjects like drama and art, which is a travesty.

‘Schools are also struggling to provide adequate support for students with special educational needs and some are even closing early or starting late to save money. Teachers’ workloads have become unsustainable as they are asked to do more and more with less, including larger class sizes and fuller timetables with less support.

‘This is fuelling the recruitment and retention crisis across the country, with one in three teachers leaving in the first five years of joining the profession. This is a complete waste of talent and is deeply disruptive to the learning of students. The Spending Review is a vital opportunity for Damian Hinds to commit to a full reversal of the cuts to school budgets and a significant increase in per pupil funding, particularly for SEND.

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