Sheffield has some of the most underfunded schools in the country. But in this year’s budget, the Government gave more money to fixing pot holes than our schools. School should be a place where young people are given the experiences and tools to get on in life. That’s what parents expect. That’s what teachers want to deliver. That’s what the Budget failed to deliver.
The Government has slashed schools budgets by £2.8billion since 2015, according to education unions. Sheffield’s schools are expected to lose £7.8 million between 2015 and 2020. Something has to change.
Liberal Democrat Parliamentary campaigner for Sheffield Hallam Laura Gordon said, “Schools in Sheffield are facing a huge £7.8m squeeze in finances. And what has the Chancellor got to offer? A one-off payment of £10k for primary schools and £50k for secondary schools. What a disgrace! A one-off payment will not replace teaching assistants, teachers and special educational needs staff, nor will it repair crumbling buildings or help schools cover the rising costs like National Insurance contributions and the apprenticeship levy.
“Head teachers in Sheffield are having to make difficult decisions that risk affecting the quality of our children’s education; reducing staff numbers, removing ‘non-core’ subjects, or cutting school hours to four and a half days per week.
“Our teachers do an amazing job and it’s absolutely shameful that they’re not given the tools and resources they need.”
Sheffield Liberal Democrat Leader Cllr Shaffaq Mohammed said, “The Chancellor has disgracefully ducked the difficult issue of long-term school funding, meaning schools will have to continue to cut staff, axe extra-curricular activities and ask parents for money to pay for the basics like books and pens.
“It’s totally unacceptable that on average, a secondary school in Manchester receives £822,000 more each year than a school in Sheffield. It’s a broken system and it needs fixing – and giving schools a one-off payment won’t help with that.
“Liberal Democrats demand better for our schools. We would start by investing an extra £2.8bn in to the schools budget, reversing the Government’s cuts.”