Council Leader urges action on school cuts

The Leader of Sutton Council, Councillor Ruth Dombey, has urged the Secretary of State for Education, Damien Hinds, and Prime Minister to take action on the funding pressures facing Sutton’s schools.

The move follows a council motion passed on 28 January about the funding pressures facing Sutton’s schools. Conservative opposition councillors refused to support the motion. Many schools in Sutton have written to parents and carers since the council meeting about the financial pressures they are facing and calling on them to lobby their local Members of Parliament.

A new funding formula introduced by the Government will mean schools face cuts of up to £3bn nationally, according to the National Audit Office. This is equivalent to an 8.0% reduction in per pupil funding nationally for mainstream schools in real terms between 2014-15 and 2019-20. The National Education Union believes that these real-term cuts are resulting in a reduced curriculum, cuts in support staff and a poorer education for pupils.

The National Education Union handed in a letter to Secretary of State on 2 April signed by over 1,000 councillors across the country demanding the Government end the school funding crisis.

Councillor Ruth Dombey, Leader of the Council, said:

‘’Schools and colleges in Sutton desperately need additional funding to ensure our children and young people get the education they deserve. We are urging the Government to consider urgent changes to the funding formula as part of its Spending Review later this year.

“We would have liked to have had cross-party support for this vital issue so were disappointed that the Conservative opposition Councillors refused to debate this issue and abstained on supporting the motion.’’

Councillor Jenny Batt, Vice-Chair of Sutton’s People Committee, who introduced the council motion in January, added:

‘We are proud of Sutton’s record of educational achievement with some of the best schools in the country in our borough, but we are very concerned that these cuts are putting this all at risk.

“We know that schools in Sutton are struggling financially which is why I wanted to highlight this important issue by proposing this motion and signing the National Education Union’s letter to Damien Hinds. I hope that the Government will now begin to address the crisis in school funding when they carry out their spending review.’

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