ALTHOUGH the Government maintains that school funding is increasing and that the funding formula is fairer as a result of recent changes, the reality is still very different in many classrooms.
Not only have school deficits in this region more than doubled in the past two years, but some do not have sufficient resources to pay for basic teaching materials and other essential items.
It is why headteachers marched on Downing Street last year – and why there was palpable anger when Chancellor Philip Hammond did make an extra £400m available in the Budget shortly afterwards.
By saying this money was for “little extras”, Mr Hammond’s patronising tone suggested that the Government was in denial about the scale of the financial challenge facing headteachers, and LEAs, every day.
Extra money has not kept pace with the cost of providing a world class education to all young people – and this is even more pronounced in Yorkshire which has not enjoyed the benevolence which was shown towards London when schools in the capital were at the bottom of national league tables.
Yet, if the Government is still serious about advancing the social mobility agenda championed by Justine Greening, the former Education Secretary, and narrowing the North-South divide, it must tackle the funding imbalances which do still exist.
If not, it will be even harder to transform the future prospects of pupils from deprived and disadvantaged backgrounds so that attainment levels across the whole region are commensurate with the aims and ambitions of the Northern Powerhouse.