Headteachers tell Greening they fear impact of funding changes

Justine Greening
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A GROUP OF Yorkshire headteachers have called on Education Secretary Justine Greening to reconsider school funding changes they claim will force them to make cuts.

A letter signed by 13 headteachers and Batley and Spen MP Tracy Brabin warns Ms Greening teaching assistants are already losing their jobs while teachers who leave schools are not being replaced.

Ms Greening has set out plans for a new national funding formula following complaints about the currenty disparities between the amount of money received by similar schools.

But analysis of the new formula has suggested Yorkshire schools could lose an average of £442 per pupil under the new process.

In their letter, the headteachers invite Ms Greening to visit their schools and warn they are facing a squeeze on their budgets at a time when they are trying to cope with “increasing pupil rolls, more complex language support requirements, and an increase in the percentage of disadvantaged pupils”.

It continues: “At a time when there is ever increasing demand on out schools, we fear that the new funding formula will have a negative impact on local schools including larger class sizes, reduced curriculum offer, loss of specialist and bilingual staff, less training opportunities, cuts to learning and IT resources, and fewer interventions.

“It is concerning that at a time when our schools needs it most, we will have less money to achieve our goal of delivering an outstanding education for all pupils.”

Teaching unions have claimed the changes could cost Yorkshire schools more than £300m and force the loss of 8,000 jobs.

Ms Brabin said: “Having met with local Headteachers, I am extremely concerned about the impact of the new funding formula on local schools.

“Every single school in Batley and Spen is facing budget cuts, equating to £9.4 million overall.

“There is nothing ‘fair’ about plans to reduce the educational offer to children in my constituency, and I support and stand alongside headteachers in standing up for their pupils.

“Every child deserves an outstanding education, and I know that every local school strives to deliver that.

“We need Government to provide them with the resources they need to deliver the high quality of education that we know they can”.

Ms Greening has previously insisted the funding formula changes will end “historical unfairness” in the system and focus on the needs of pupils rather than their postcode.

Election rules limit the responses that can be given by Government departments.

A Conservative Party spokesman said: ‘There are 1.8 million more children in good or outstanding schools than in 2010 and we are putting more funding than ever before into schools.

“We are supporting schools to help them use that record funding in cost-effective ways, such as improving the way they buy good and services, and we are consulting on a National Funding Formula to end the unfair post code lottery so pupils with similar needs attract the same level of funding to their school.”

The Conservatives pointed to official figures showing spending on schools is at its highest ever level at £41bn and will continue to rise under current plans.

The number of pupils being educated in good or outstanding schools since 2010 has risen by 1.6m.