Government fails test on funding for city schools

Stephen Morgan, Member of Parliament for Portsmouth South, has criticised the lack of announcements on funding for schools and further education sector in yesterday’s budget.

Writing to the Chancellor earlier this month, Stephen called on the Tories to protect public services and invest in the city’s schools and set out four ‘tests’ for this year’s budget.

Sadly the Government chose to continue with its damaging policy of real terms cuts for the nation’s schools and colleges.

Stephen Morgan MP said:

“The budget offered no significant new money for education. There is clear evidence that real terms cuts are causing daily problems in our schools and colleges, and sadly I hear of them too often in our great city.

This shows that the Government has chosen to ignore the advice of headteachers and teaching staff across our country. Parents, teachers and those who believe in the power of education to improve lives – as I do – are deeply disappointed”.      

Despite the worsening teacher recruitment and retention crisis and real terms cuts in teacher pay over the past 7 years, the Chancellor also had nothing to offer the profession.

Stephen added:

“Instead of school staff losing jobs or seeing the value of their pay cut, the Government needs to invest in those working in education”.

Experts have said the announcement on funding for T-Levels is nothing more than a ‘drop in the ocean’ compared to the huge real terms cuts to 16-19 funding since 2010. 

There are no plans to restore Education Maintenance Allowance, backed by Labour, in order to provide funding to support young people.

Stephen added:

With 53 of 58 Portsmouth schools facing cuts in the next few years, totalling £5m, I’m hugely concerned the impact this will have on resources. It will lead to over £200 less per pupil, which equates to over 100 teachers lost from our community’s schools.

Across our country we know schools need £2 billion a year extra funding to restore real terms per pupil funding to 2015-16 levels. Along with headteachers, I’ve been pressing the Chancellor to do this.

Yet this budget is telling parents in our great city that their children deserve less than was spent on children in previous years. That just isn’t good enough for the people of Portsmouth. And that’s why I’ll continue to fight for a better deal for our city’s schools”.

Stephen plans to pursue his campaign alongside parents and teachers for the investment our city’s children and young people need to succeed in life.