Schools ‘decimated’ by cuts, says education action group

Sue McMahon, of Calderdale Against School Cuts
Sue McMahon, of Calderdale Against School Cuts

A campaign leader says four out of five Calderdale schools will be worse off next year compared to four years ago.

The concerns come as it was claimed schools in the district have seen Government funding cuts of £39.4m since 2015.

Ash Green Primary School protest

Ash Green Primary School protest

Sue McMahon, of Calderdale Against School Cuts (CASC), said cuts caused staff reductions, overworked teachers, a lack of essential maintenance and school resources, along with subjects being given the chop.

She said: “Cuts have seen reductions in staffing, essential maintenance axed, subjects lost, resources decimated, and staff covering extra tasks on top of daily duties, which have a knock on effect on pupils education; when pupil numbers are increasing.

“Further cuts inflicted on local authorities by the Government have left schools starved of services, with schools having become the fourth emergency service.”

Last month Prime Minister Boris Johnson announced a record £14 billion to schools.

Calderdale Against School Cuts

Calderdale Against School Cuts

The cash boost would be made available for 39 Calderdale schools, according to the National Funding Formula.

The PM also pledged £4.5 billion for teachers’ pensions from outside the education budget, meaning anything extra from the £14 billion will go straight to schools.

However, CASC said most schools will not see additional money until September 2020.

“Despite the additional funding promised next year, schools this year are still having to make cuts,” said Ms McMahon.

“Our schools have less money per pupil today than in 2015.”

A Department of Education spokesperson said: “The Prime Minister has made clear we’ll increase minimum levels of per pupil funding in primary and secondary schools and return education funding to previous levels.”

The Institute of Fiscal Studies stated recent funding announcements will amount to only an increase of £4.3bn by 2022/23 after inflation.

Last week CASC unfurled banners at several Calderdale schools in line with a country-wide campaign.

Calder Valley Conservative MP Craig Whittaker was approached for comment on the schools funding issue but was still to respond last night as the Courier went to press.