MP calls for more to be done to increase funding for Uttlesford schools
PUBLISHED: 12:18 04 June 2019 | UPDATED: 12:31 04 June 2019
MP for Saffron Walden, Kemi Badenoch, has spoken out about increased pressure on school budgets and called on the Government to increase funding.
Speaking during a debate on education funding in parliament, Mrs Badenoch said: "Funding for our children's primary and secondary schools has gone up from £30.4billion in 2010 to £43.5billion for next year - a £13billion increase. Since 2010, more children are in good or outstanding schools, the attainment gap for disadvantaged pupils has been lowered, and there are tens of thousands more teachers and teaching assistants.
"However, funding is only one measure. Schools are performing so much better than before, but I must recognise concerns raised by my local head teachers and parents about available funding, as schools are having to meet costs that they never did before, and I am speaking today to give them a voice in this chamber."
Mrs Badenoch said funding has increased in real terms, but per pupil funding had decreased.
She said: "The library estimates that my constituency has benefited from a six per cent real-terms increase to the schools block funding since 2013, from £57 million to £61 million. This is good news, but per pupil funding has gone down, indicating that there are more pupils than before. There is more money, but it is being thinly spread, and this is one reason that school budgets are under more pressure."
Mrs Badenoch said head teachers in Uttlesford have told her about the consequences of funding cuts.
"Locally, head teachers at Helena Romanes School, Saffron Walden County High School and Joyce Frankland Academy, among others, have told me about the issues that they and their staff are facing.
"These issues include more lessons being taught with fewer teachers, as those who retire from the profession are not replaced; schools having to rely on donations from generous parents and carers for extracurricular clubs; stopping the late school bus service; and simply not having enough resources.
"Additionally, although school spending has increased since the end of the last decade and now stands at just under £5,100 per pupil, reductions to sixth-form funding and local authority services have affected budgets and provisions for school transport and pastoral care.
"Teachers in my constituency continue to do fantastic work despite these pressures, because they are motivated first and foremost by giving children the best possible education."