This month, I joined Sheffield headteachers, the Sheffield Star and other Labour MPs to demand that the Government properly fund our schools.
Fellow Sheffield MP, Paul Blomfield, arranged for us to deliver a letter to Theresa May that demanded she reverse the 8% real-terms cut in funding our schools have faced under the Tories.
Since 2015, the Government has cut school budgets by £1.7 billion, which goes to show how little the Tories care about our children’s education. Figures released by the House of Commons Library have shown that our area has been particularly badly hit by government cuts to school funding.
The budgets of schools in Sheffield Heeley were slashed from £51.5 million in 2013/14 to £49 million in 2017/18. This £2.5 million cut amounted to a reduction of £348 or 7% for each pupil in the area. In comparison, the average funding cut for pupils in Yorkshire and the Huber was £239 or 5%, while pupils across England as a whole lost on average £212 or 4%.
Last year, Damian Hinds and Theresa May both promised that “every school” would get a cash increase in 2019 but the Government has failed to follow through on that commitment.
But analysis by the National Education Union showed that the Government has failed to increase funding for 4,819 schools in England. A quarter of primary schools (25%) and one in six secondary schools (17%) received no cash increase or suffered an actual cut to their funding.
34 schools in Sheffield – a fifth of the city’s schools – have seen a reduction in their Schools Block funding allocations for 2018/19. In total, these schools have lost £1,963,000 in a single year with some individual schools losing over £100,000.
After years of underinvestment in our education system, it’s shameful that four schools in Sheffield Heeley have had their budgets for 2018/19 cut. This new round of cuts puts yet more strain on schools that are already struggling to afford basic supplies like books and stationery.
In contrast, a Labour government would reverse these cuts and give schools the resources they need to ensure that every child receives a good education.
Since becoming an MP, I’ve consistently pressured the Government to properly fund our schools, invest in higher education, give children with special educational needs the support they deserve, and reverse real-terms cuts to teachers pay.
I’ll continue to speak out on behalf of children, parents, and teachers who have been failed by this Government time and time again.