For years the Government have spoken time and time again about their fair funding for schools. Well, tell that to the schools across Tameside which collectively have taken a cut of £4.1 million to their annual budgets compared to just 2015!
And it’s the same picture right across England, where schools have been doing all they can to shield their pupils from the damage caused by £2.8 billion-worth of cuts to their budgets. The devastation caused by these funding reductions is clear to see: staff numbers in secondary schools have fallen by 15,000 between 2015 and 2018 despite having more pupils to teach.
And we are beginning to see the impact of this decrease in teachers; the number of children at Key Stage One in class sizes over 30 for instance has increased by 91 per cent since 2011. After over a decade of reduced class sizes under Labour, the Tories are now turning back the clock.
Providing the finest quality education to all our children is the best investment for the future any society can make. Sadly, this Tory Government have instead decimated OUR local schools and education providers. While they dish out massive corporate tax cuts to their friends in the city, they have allowed our children and teachers to become one of the biggest victims of their politically motivated austerity.
A weakened education system will impact us especially locally however, with training and upskilling our young people crucial to our economic renewal and revitalisation.
Shamefully the Tories know exactly what they are doing because last month they were rebuked by the UK Statistics Authority for manipulating figures that made education spending appear higher than it actually was.
Facts are facts. Just looking at some of the schools in my constituency it shows just how bad the problem is.
In Denton, St Thomas More College will have £173,101 less in 2020 compared to 2015, that’s a per-pupil cut of £227 per pupil; in Audenshaw, Aldwyn Primary School’s annual budget is £85,458 less, which is a £251 per pupil cut; and in Dukinfield, Ravensfield Primary School is hit by a £78,597 reduction, or a £181 per pupil cut. This approach to our education system is just not viable any more.
What our children need today is an education system which takes care of them throughout their entire academic life. That means an education system which is properly funded no matter what your age, pre-qualifications, class or aspiration in life.
We need a fundamental transformation to our education system, that’s why we need a Labour government which will deliver on Labour’s National Education Service proposals for the future.