Hounslow MPs Ruth Cadbury and Seema Malhotra today (27th February) met with School Headteachers and Chairs of Governors to discuss the Government's plan for a new National Funding Formula for Schools (NFF).
Ruth said, "At a time when head teachers are already having to make stringent budget cuts due to rising costs, they are faced with yet more cuts and uncertainty. The child population is rising so the Government should be increasing the overall pot. Instead, the proposed National Funding Formula is being used by the Government to spread the already insufficient funding in a different way."
Seema said: “The cuts to the school budgets estimated by the Institute of Fiscal Studies to be around 8% per pupil by 2020 are already hitting local schools and families hard. This cannot go on. Every child needs the best education and chance in life. Ministers don’t seem to realise how their decisions are hitting people on the ground. We are calling for the Government’s education cuts to stop.”
One headteacher tells us, "In real terms our budget has not increased for a number of years, during this time costs and additional budget charges (fuel, salaries, special services) have increased significantly leading to cuts in real terms. Decisions are being made on a financial basis rather than what is the best interest of children."
Another Head added "Narrowing of the curriculum will have to take place with subjects such as DT, Music, Drama and Art becoming limited. We have already seen an increase in class sizes and are not replacing all staff when they resign."
Ruth added, "Head teachers told me today that they are already having to plan to provide fewer subjects taught at key stages 4 and 5, fewer external visits and fewer specialists will come in to teach and enthuse our children. There will be less specialist and individual support for children who have additional needs, who have mental health problems and need counselling or who are very gifted. The implementation of the NFF will only compound the situation."
The Government consultation is open until 22rd March. The link is here, and we would encourage as many people as possible to send in their views.
Ruth and Seema would be interested to hear your views please go to:
Ruth Cadbury MP – 020 7219 8590 firstname.lastname@example.org
Seema Malhotra MP – 020 7219 8957 email@example.com