Since her election in October 2016, Tracy has visited over 33 schools and youth organisations. She has become very concerned about school funding, including Conservative plans for a new funding formula, which could see £9.4M lost from school budgets in Batley and Spen. Click here to find out the impact of the formula on your local school.
In order to quantify the concerns that local Headteachers raised with her, Tracy conducted a questionnaire of local Headteachers, and of the 14 respondents:
100% said that the funding formula would have a negative effect on the school.
100% said that the school will lose funding as a result of the new funding formula.
92% said that they will lose staff as a result of the new funding formula.
Tracy therefore decided to organise an open letter to the Secretary of State for Education, based on the feedback received from Headteachers, setting out the impact of the formula on schools in Batley and Spen, and calling for her to reconsider her plans.
You can read the story in the Yorkshire Post here, and the text of the letter is as follows:
30th April 2017
Dear Secretary of State,
We are writing to ask you to reconsider the new schools funding formula, due for initial implementation in 2018/19.
Every single school in the Batley and Spen constituency is set to lose funding as a result of the new formula, and as such every school will be impacted negatively.
In fact, analysis by the Education Policy Institute has found that all schools in England face real terms cuts in funding per pupil after the introduction of the formula.
More than ever, schools are expected to deliver more with little resource and that is not sustainable. School funding has not risen in line with rising costs such as building running costs, an increasing staffing budget, and increased employer national insurance contributions. This has already resulted locally in pressure on schools and staff losses including Teaching Assistant redundancies and departing teachers not being replaced. This is all despite increasing pupil rolls, more complex language support requirements, and an increase in the percentage of disadvantaged pupils.
At a time when there is ever increasing demand on out schools, we fear that the new funding formula will have a negative impact on local schools including larger class sizes, reduced curriculum offer, loss of specialist and bilingual staff, less training opportunities, cuts to learning and IT resources, and fewer interventions.
It is concerning that at a time when our schools needs it most, we will have less money to achieve our goal of delivering an outstanding education for all pupils.
We invite you to visit the Batley and Spen constituency to see for yourself the need for increased financial support for local schools.
We look forward to hearing from you.
Tracy Brabin, Member of Parliament for Batley and Spen
Nathan Bulley, Headteacher at Heckmondwike Grammar School
Saria Luffman, Head of School at BBG Academy
Marcus Newby, Headteacher at Howard Park Community School
Russell J Ingleby, Headteacher at Hightown JIN School
Timothy Scargill, Headteacher at Windmill Church of England Primary School
Sam Marriott, Headteacher at Scholes Village Primary School
Rebecca Martin, Headteacher at Birkenshaw CE (C) Primary School
Rob Barraclough, Headteacher at St Joseph’s Primary School
Safeena Nazam, Headteacher at Purlwell Infant and Nursery School
J Templar, Headteacher at Whitcliffe Mount School
Janet Thompson, Headteacher at Hanging Heaton J&I School
Sam Vickers, Headteacher at Upper Batley High School
Hilary Towers-Islam, Headteacher at Field Lane J I & N School
*Update, since its publication, the following Headteachers have also added their names*
Matthew Leach, Headteacher at Hyrstmount Junior School
Sarah Palmer, Headteacher at Manorfield Infant and Nursery School