'4 out of 5 constituencies face school funding cuts'

But all of Boris Johnson’s cabinet members' constituencies have escaped the worst of the cuts, according to NEU teaching union analysis
9th November 2019, 12:04am


'4 out of 5 constituencies face school funding cuts'

The Neu Said 83 Per Cent Of Constituencies Will Still See Real Terms School Funding Cuts.

Schools in more than four out of five constituencies will have less per-pupil funding next year than they did five years ago, according to new figures published by a teaching union.

A league table ranking school spending by constituency for next year shows that schools in 83 per cent of areas will receive less money in real terms than they did in 2015, with the majority of the worst hit areas being Labour-held seats.

However the new tables  published today by the National Education Union have been criticised as being "political propaganda" by the Conservative Party.

Read: Some schools 'won't get enough funds for teacher pay'

Revealed: The 17 areas which benefit from school funding changes

Funding: 16,500 schools 'worse off', say unions

League tables: The areas worst hit by school funding changes

Tes revealed yesterday that the Conservative Party believes it has already done enough to neutralise school funding as an election issue by pledging to inject billions extra into the system.

The Tories say their own polling shows that the electorate knows the money - due to kick in over three years from April - is on its way.

However, the NEU has said its new figures should "send shockwaves"  across the country ahead of the General Election.

Only 18 out of 533 parliamentary constituencies will not see per-pupil funding drop in real terms in 2020 compared with  2015, according to the union's analysis.

The NEU teaching union said that of these 18  areas 13 are Conservative-held seats.  In contrast 77 of the worst-hit 100 constituencies for real terms funding cuts are Labour-held seats.

The union said the worst-hit constituency, Dulwich and West Norwood, faces a £782 real terms per-pupil funding loss in April 2020 compared to 2015.  By contrast, York Outer, which is set to benefit most, will see a £138 gain.

The union said the new analysis showed the prime minister's planned "levelling up" of funding falls "badly short of what is needed".

Kevin Courtney, joint general secretary of the NEU, said: "Boris Johnson's promises on school funding will not fix the roof - it is too little, too late. Schools need a significant funding increase now, not the dribs and drabs promised from April 2020.

"Schools are losing support staff, dropping subjects, closing early, and cutting corners on basic maintenance, just to get by. These are not 'little extras'.

 "Our constituency league table should send shockwaves through the country. The future of education hangs in the balance.

"We need real solutions and in this general election we implore voters to scrutinise manifesto commitments closely. If you value education, you must vote education."

However the Conservatives have questioned the figures.

David Morris said: "This is an inaccurate and misleading piece of political propaganda with the intention of shamelessly alarming parents, from an organisation that has not once, but twice been rebuked by the UK Stats Authority this year alone for making highly misleading claims about education funding. NEU claims about schools funding frankly cannot be trusted.

"The reality is we are boosting schools funding by £14 billion over the next three years - meaning every pupil in every school will get more money, and funding across the country will be levelled up."

Earlier this year the Conservative government announced plans to invest an extra £7.1 billion in schools in England over three years from next year.

However the Schools Cuts campaign - which involves unions including the NEU - ­ ­said last month that the £1.9bn more which schools will receive next year falls short of what is needed.

The NEU figures published today highlight that that no member of Boris Johnson's cabinet appears in the bottom ranked 100 constituencies for funding cuts. 

The union analysis found that schools in 46 constituencies face a loss of £500 or more in per-pupil funding in April 2020 when compared with 2015.

Of these, over three-quarters (36) are Labour-held seats.

Lack of awareness of schools' financial plight was seen as a key reason for the Conservatives' lower than hoped for performance in the 2017 general election.

This week the two main parties  both signalled  that there would be more capital funding for school buildings if they got into power.

You’ve reached your limit of free articles this month

Register for free to read more

You can read two more articles on Tes for free this month if you register using the button below.

Alternatively, you can subscribe for just £1 per month for the next three months and get:

  • Unlimited access to all Tes magazine content
  • Exclusive subscriber-only articles 
  • Email newsletters

Already registered? Log in

You’ve reached your limit of free articles this month

Subscribe to read more

You can subscribe for just £1 per month for the next three months and get:

  • Unlimited access to all Tes magazine content
  • Exclusive subscriber-only articles 
  • Email newsletters