CHILDREN get only one chance for a good education, and it will be a source of great concern for parents across Yorkshire that school funding cuts potentially jeopardise the futures of their sons and daughters.
The teachers, school governors and MPs gathering in Sheffield today to discuss levels of funding are right to give voice to those concerns.
The figures are stark, with 84 per cent of the schools in our region facing cuts in their budgets.
The difficulties they face are further underlined by the likelihood of parents in Barnsley being asked to make voluntary financial contributions in areas such as music lessons. That, of course, assumes families can afford to do so, and begs the question of what happens if they cannot.
This financial squeeze on schools is not a matter of the teaching unions crying wolf.
Those who are highlighting the financial shortages are gathering evidence to present to the Government in order to lobby for more money.
The Government should listen and act accordingly.
Good education cannot be delivered on the cheap, and as a high-spending area for local authorities, schools have been hit particularly hard by austerity.
Teachers must be given the means to provide the education that our children deserve.
There is a clear mismatch between a Government of any party laying emphasis - entirely correctly - on the need for a skilled and educated workforce in the future, yet failing to provide schools with the necessary resources to help young people become exactly that.
Investment in schools is money well spent. It is both an investment in the life chances of each individual child, and a down-payment on a successful country of the future, in which they can pursue rewarding and satisfying careers.
Starving schools of the funds they need is a self-defeating policy that should be abandoned.