Barbara Keeley

LABOUR CANDIDATE FOR WORSLEY AND ECCLES SOUTH

School funding cuts

I share the concerns that a number of constituents have expressed about cuts to school funding.

The combined effect of real terms cuts to the education budget and Government proposals to reform school funding will cause almost every school in England to lose funding in the coming years. I fear that the Conservative Government's proposed new funding formula will simply redistribute a sum of money that is inadequate to support our schools and to provide our children with the excellent education they deserve.

I support the principle that all schools should receive fair funding. However, simply taking money away from existing schools and redistributing it, when budgets all across the country are being cut, is not the answer.

At the last General Election I stood on a manifesto which pledged to protect the entire education budget. I am very disappointed that schools are now facing the first real-terms reduction to their budgets in nearly 20 years.

The National Audit Office has said that mainstream schools will be required to find £3 billion of savings by 2019-20, a real-terms reduction of 8% per pupil between 2014-15 and 2019-20. The only new money being offered to English schools is to expand the few remaining grammar schools, regardless of where school places are needed.

I can assure you that I will follow the decisions that the Chancellor makes on funding in the March Budget. I and my Labour colleagues will continue to hold the Conservative Government to account on its plans for education funding.

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