Planned Government cuts mean that local schools could face “reductions in staffing, difficulty in maintaining high standards, a reduction in the commitment to extracurricular activities, including sports and the arts, and, in some cases, threats to their future viability” warned Ellesmere Port & Neston MP, Justin Madders in a Parliamentary debate.
During the debate on School Funding in Cheshire West & Chester, which was secured by Chester MP, Chris Matheson, Mr Madders read out a long list of schools which have contacted him to express concerns about planned cuts to education budgets, which are currently being consulted on by the Government. Across Cheshire West & Chester, schools stand to lose £4.2 million in 2019/20, rising to £6.4 million beyond that.
The proposed changes come despite a commitment in the 2015 Conservative Party Manifesto, which stated that: “Under a future Conservative Government, the amount of money following your child into school will be protected” a promise that Madders claims has been “not just broken but comprehensively shattered.”
Speaking following the debate, Justin Madders MP said:
“When he responded, the Minister said nothing that will reassure local parents and teachers about this Tory Government’s plans. These cuts will strike at the heart of our local schools and will have a profound impact on the education that our children receive.
“This will be a bitter blow to the schools which have turned themselves around and made huge amounts of progress in recent years. 93% of our local schools are now rated as good or outstanding – it is a scandal that the Government are putting this at risk.
“While schools in Ellesmere Port & Neston are being cut, many Tory areas are actually going to see an increase, with West Sussex getting an extra 1.9% and Hampshire 0.7% and Surrey 1.7%.
“Labour will be fighting the Government every step of the way until they drop these unfair and damaging plans.”