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Over 1,000 councillors urge Government to increase school funding

A letter from the National Education Union (NEU) urging Education Secretary Damian Hinds to end the school funding crisis has been signed by 1,115 local councillors in England, including many councillors in Tower Hamlets.

Locally-elected council members from across the country have backed the campaign by the NEU’s Councillors Network, which is supported by education fair funding campaign group f40, in expressing concern about the desperate state of school funding in England and Wales.

They are urging Government to invest more money in schools in the Spending Review this year to help meet the huge funding crisis across education, which is resulting in growing budget deficits, cuts in teaching staff, a reduction in some subject areas, and a poorer education for children.

The Institute for Fiscal Studies (2) states that schools have suffered a cut of 8 per cent per pupil since 2010. The Education Policy Institute (3) has said almost a third of all council-run secondary schools are now in deficit and, according to last year’s Kreston UK report (4), eight in ten academies are in deficit.

Analysis by the NEU has shown that school in Tower Hamlets have lost out on over £56m funding between 2015 and 2019. That’s the equivalent of £626 per pupil (5). These figures are based on the difference between current funding and the amount needed to protect per pupil funding in real terms.

Mayor of Tower Hamlets John Biggs said: “The threat facing schools is stark, with billions of pounds in funding lost since 2015, and schools in Tower Hamlets are suffering.

“We’ve called on the Government to reverse the school cuts, give our schools the funding they need and properly fund provision for children with Special Educational Needs and Disabilities. Our schools have improved dramatically over the last twenty years and now this is all at risk if the Government continues down this path.”

Cllr Danny Hassell, Cabinet Member for Children, Schools and Young People, said: “This situation cannot go on. Schools and colleges in Tower Hamlets desperately need additional funding to ensure our children and young people get the education they deserve. There needs to be a reversal of cuts to school budgets and for the funding of schools and Special Educational Needs and Disabilities provision to be of a level that ensures all children and young people get the education they deserve, regardless of where they live.”