I spoke briefly last week in a packed Westminster Hall debate on school funding, raising the pressures that schools in Bristol are facing. (See a transcript of my speech at this link.)
In east Bristol funding per pupil has been cut by £359 since 2014/15, a reduction of 7%. The Government is insisting that it is giving schools more money than ever, but this bears little relation to reality,
Schools are being forced into reducing staff numbers, cutting “non-essential” services like school trips and pastoral care, and pupils are losing out as a result. I am especially concerned that children with special education needs (SEN) are being worst affected, with schools struggling to accommodate them because they have fewer teaching assistants to give them the additional attention and care they need.
It’s time the Chancellor took notice of what teachers and parents have been saying. I am praying we get some good news for schools in his Spring Statement tomorrow.