Government must listen about investing in our schools

City MP Stephen Morgan is continuing his campaign for a better deal for Portsmouth’s schools following public concern about current and future levels of school funding in England and Wales. This was strongly expressed in the General Election campaign, and continues to be an issue for parents and teachers in the city.

The school cuts website has calculated that 88% of schools are being cut in real terms compared with 2015. There is widespread awareness that present and future levels of financial commitment fall well short of what is needed to maintain real terms 2015/16 funding.

The £1.3 billion that the Secretary of State for Education reallocated to core school funding in July is a sign that the Government is sensitive to some of the issues, but the response is not at all adequate to the size of the problem. £2.8 billion has been cut from school budgets since 2015 and school funding is £2bn a year less than it was.

Ahead of the Autumn Budget next week Stephen Morgan MP has written to the Chancellor of the Exchequer, Philip Hammond MP about the issue.

In his letter Stephen said:

“It is clear from the visits I regularly do to local schools and in discussions with teachers that school funding in my constituency and across our country is in crisis. Our great city deserves better.

In next week’s Budget, my constituents are expecting a response from Government that appreciates the magnitude of the problem, and invests accordingly in the country’s future.

We look forward to commitments in your statement next week that will reinvest at least £2bn a year to end the underfunding of our education.

You have spoken of an economy that works for everyone, including the young. Millions of parents will be expecting you to match words with deeds”.

Stephen’s letter to the Chancellor follows lobbying from head teachers representing over 5,000 schools to the Chancellor about the Government’s inadequate funding for schools.

Angela Rayner MP, Labour’s Shadow Secretary of State for Education said:

“Justine Greening needs to start listening to the head teachers and concerned parents who are facing the real consequences of her Government’s decision to put tax breaks for the super-rich ahead of investment in the next generation. 

Despite Tory spin, the new funding formula does nothing to reverse the cuts to budgets and every penny they have found just comes from cutting other education provision – it isn’t fair, and it isn’t funded. 

The next Labour Government will give our schools the resources they need, reversing Tory cuts and protecting per pupil funding in real terms, as we build a National Education Service for the many, and not just the few”.