Tom Blenkinsop today met with Tony Gavin, head teacher of Laurence Jackson School in Guisborough, to discuss the funding challenges facing Teesside’s schools.
This follows news that, due to the new school funding formula, increasing school costs and changes in pupil numbers, schools in the North East are set to lose approximately £119 million in funding by 2020. A survey of head teachers also found that 72% of school leaders believe that their budgets will be unsustainable by 2019.
It was good to meet with Tony today, who highlighted not only the £650,000 blackhole Laurence Jackson School could be facing by 2019, but the wider issues facing Teesside schools.
I have previously met with local National Union of Teachers representatives on this issue. With the help of the NUT and National Association of Head Teachers I have tabled an Early Day Motion in parliament asking the Government to think again, and am proud this has received the support of 14 of my colleagues from the North East.
I have repeatedly applied to hold debates on this issue in Parliament but have been unsuccessful so far. I will keep trying and attempt new approaches to get the Government to answer for what they are doing to our schools.
In their manifesto the Tories promised to protect school spending. It’s clear that, again, they’re breaking their promises and letting down the children of Teesside.
The 2015 Conservative manifesto pledged to ‘continue to protect school funding’ and stated repeatedly that the ‘amount of money following your child into school will be protected’.
In December an independent National Audit Office report into the ‘financial sustainability of schools’ found that UK schools will have to find £3 billion in efficiency savings by 2020 if current spending levels continue.