School funding worries raised

Cat Smith speaking in Parliamant.
Cat Smith speaking in Parliamant.

Fleetwood MP Cat Smith has echoed concerns that new Government proposals could leave schools out of pocket.

And she says Fleetwood’s schools, working in a relatively deprived area, cannot afford to lose any more funding.

The Labour MP for Lancaster and Fleetwood said: “Under this Government, schools are facing the first real terms cuts to their budgets in nearly 20 years.

“Ministers are planning to introduce a new National Funding Formula for schools. They are not, however, putting in sufficient funding to implement this in a fair way.

“Figures released by organisations representing school staff, teachers and leaders – including NUT and UNISON - show that overall school funding in Lancaster and Fleetwood is projected to fall from £4,753.05 in 2015/16 to £4,295.57 in 2019/20.

“This equates to a £457.47 cut per pupil or a 10 per cent average cut per school in Lancaster and Fleetwood.

“I am calling on the Secretary of State for Education to make urgent representations to the Chancellor to deliver extra school resources in his budget.”

The MP said that in Fleetwood there were already increased class sizes, subjects being dropped from the curriculum, pupils with special educational needs and disabilities losing vital support and teacher vacancies being left unfilled.

Head teachers in Fleetwood were reluctant at this stage to discuss how the proposals could effect their individual schools.

But County Councillor Matthew Tomlinson, cabinet member for children, young people and schools, said: “I am aware the proposals have caused a lot of consternation amongst schools and teaching unions.

“The county council and the Lancashire Schools Forum will consider the details and consult on their implications with schools and other stakeholders before making separate responses to the consultation.”