THE LEADER of Harlow Council has hit out at Harlow MP Robert Halfon over cuts to school funding.
The National Association of Headteachers (NAHT) issued a press release detailing how a number of schools across the country had written to parents regarding the cuts.
Our sister paper, YourThurrock was informed that 45 schools in that borough had written to parents regarding the cuts but we are as yet unaware if any Harlow schools have done the same.
Harlow Council leader, Cllr Mark Ingall has gone onto social media to put pressure on the Harlow MP.
Cllr Ingall said: “The reason schools are in crisis is because “per pupil funding” has been cut by the Conservative Government at the same time as the Conservative Government heaped extra costs on schools.
Robert Halfon is a Conservative MP he has voted very loyally to support the budgets that have imposed these cuts.
Schools were warning of the efffects these cuts would have on education before the last election.
Harlow Tories denied that there were any cuts to school funding.
“For Robert Halfon to suddenly voice concern for the shocking crisis that affects Harlow’s children is an act of extraordinary hypocrisy”.
Cllr Ingall was backed by fellow teacher, Cllr Chris Vince.
Cllr Vince said: “I have met Robert Halfon a number of times and he’s a genuinely nice bloke. However, let’s take the personality out of politics and look at the reality. Rob has propped up a Tory government that has overseen per pupil cuts to education funding not to mention one which has made unnecessary changes to school curriculum changes which has added not only to the pressure on teachers but more importantly the students we teach. They’re the ones that really matter.
“Take into account Rob voted in favour of cutting education maintenance allowance, something which supported most vulnerable people in our society, and the whole scale rollout of academisation before you think he and his party are standing up for teachers. And before the usual trolls point out I am a labour councillor I’d like to point out it was Gove and his cronies with ideological attack on education that first got me involved in politics”.
The letter that went out from schools stated:
“As a school, we feel that it is our duty to provide parents with a fair and accurate picture of the real state of school funding in our area. All state schools in England are funded by a central government grant that is administered by the Department for Education (DfE). According to the Institute for Fiscal Studies (IFS), school funding per pupil has fallen 8% in real terms since 2010.
“Schools are having to make difficult choices on how to spend their limited funding as their income has not kept pace with the rise in costs since 2010. All schools are working very hard to ‘make ends meet’ but this is becoming increasingly difficult and verging on almost impossible. Bank of England information shows that £100 of goods in 2010 cost £121.90 in 2017 (which is approximately a 20% increase), and school funding has not kept up with the increase in costs.”
Paul Whiteman, general secretary of school leaders’ union NAHT, said: “The government has acknowledged that school budgets are under pressure, and that schools are expected to do more. They also acknowledge these new demands cost more money than before. They also cannot have failed to notice the steady procession of school leaders, governors, parents and others campaigning for more money for schools. It is therefore utterly inexplicable that they have failed to act. Only new money from the Treasury can solve the school funding crisis.”
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