Tracy Brabin MP Warns Kirklees Schools to be Hit by “Stealth Cuts” Despite New Funding Formula

Batley and Spen MP, Tracy Brabin has today warned that Kirklees schools will be hit hard if the Government pressed ahead with the new National Funding Formula without making additional funding available.

Ministers are planning to introduce a new formula for schools without putting in sufficient funding to implement this in a way that avoids real terms cuts.

Campaigners say that 98% of schools across England will be worse off because rising prices and cost pressures will cancel out any increase. The Government’s spending watchdog the National Audit Office has said schools will have to make cuts that amount to some £3 billion by 2020.

And now figures released by organisations representing school staff, teachers and leaders – NUT, ATL, NAHT, UNISON, GMB and UNITE – show all except one of the 166 schools in Kirklees are facing a funding reduction in real terms by 2019/20. The astonishing figures show that in Ms Brabin’s own constituency of Batley and Spen, schools such as Upper Batley High School are facing a 12% real terms cut by 2019/20 and overall Batley and Spen schools will suffer a 14% reduction which equates to a £510 cut per pupil.

The financial impact across the region will be stark with only 31 of Yorkshire’s 2099 schools set to financially benefit in real terms from the new NFF. Across the Yorkshire and the Humber region the aggregate loss per pupil in real terms is a staggering £379 between 2015-19.

Tracy Brabin MP is today calling on the Secretary of State for Education to make urgent representations to the Chancellor to deliver extra resources for schools in his Budget statement to Parliament on 8th March, saying:

“Batley and Spen educational leaders have told me how difficult it is to provide excellent education under strained financial circumstances. These funding figures will be a hammer blow to headteachers, teachers, pupils and parents. It’s said that school funding is a postcode lottery and looking at these figures, Kirklees definitely isn’t a winner.

“Talking to young people, they want to work hard and do well – something that seems increasingly more difficult when their school’s budgets are being cut to the bone. 

“These stealth cuts will have a huge impact on pupils in my area. We all remember the days when buckets caught rain coming in through the ceiling and parents had to buy books because the school couldn’t afford them – we can not and will not go back to those days and I will be working hand in hand with local schools to fight these unfair measures.”