The government has introduced a new national school funding formula for 2018-19 supported by investment of £1.3 billion for schools across 2018-19 and 2019-20.
However, this is not new money. It is coming from other cuts to education budgets. It is also the case that funding has not been increased in line with inflation. It is therefore not enough to reverse the £2.7 billion in real term cuts that schools have suffered since 2015.
Funding that goes to the most disadvantaged pupils is being cut in real terms year after year. Many parents in our constituency and up and down the country are angry and upset about this issue, particularly parents of children with high needs and special educational needs.
The independent Institute for Fiscal Studies has said there will still have been a cut in real terms funding for schools of 4.6 per cent between 2015 and 2019. Unfortunately, therefore, we are still facing the first real terms cut in the school’s budget for over two decades. These cuts have created a teacher recruitment crisis, forced teachers to leave the profession in record numbers and sent class sizes soaring.
Our children deserve the best education in the world and our teaching staff need the resources to do their job. At the 2017 General Election, I stood on a manifesto which pledged to reverse the cuts seen in recent years to school budgets and to ensure that all schools have the resources they need, as well as introduce a new National Funding Formula in which no school would lose funding.
I will continue to press for a different approach whereby schools are provided with the resources they need, funding cuts are reversed and per pupil funding is increased in real terms. This is vital to improve standards across all our schools and to deliver an education which enables all our children to reach their full potential.