SCHOOLS in Leeds are struggling under the strain of Government cuts – why else would they need the £1m in bailout money being handed to them by the city council?
The rules say the cash is to be paid out in exceptional circumstances, which is clearly the case at Corpus Christi College, where it was needed to help deal with the aftermath of the Anne Maguire tragedy.
But the fact that it was required to prop up other schools across the city shows that finances are on a knife-edge. So it’s deeply troubling that schools looks set to suffer even deeper cuts regardless of the result of tomorrow’s general election.
Analysing the spending pledges of the Conservatives, Labour and Liberal Democrats, the Institute for Fiscal Studies said they all suggest a real-terms reduction of up to 12 per cent by 2020.
The Tories say they will protect school spending per pupil, while Labour and the Liberal Democrats have committed to protecting the education budget for three to 19-year-olds. But rising pupil numbers will make life even harder for schools that are already struggling to balance their books.
The first priority of whoever gets the keys to Number 10 should be to rethink school funding. Education is the key to reducing inequality and providing opportunity for all – we neglect it at our peril.
Leigh’s showing bags of inspiration
TOLD she was unable to donate the blood her niece needed to stay alive because of a heart murmur, Leigh Bowser racked her brains for another way to help.
The result is the “blood bag” – a pretty grisly name for what is actually an inspiring and powerful symbol of hope.
The art project – which has seen bags handcrafted by people as far afield as Spain, America, Switzerland and Australia – is all about giving people the inspiration and encouragement to become blood donors.
Leigh should be proud of its success. Her’s is a great example of someone thinking outside the box to find a way to make a difference.