Kent’s schools stand to lose an astonishing £78 MILLION in funding by 2020. That’s under government plans to reallocate school budgets according to a new national funding formula — the equivalent to cutting 2,110 teaching jobs across the county.
My children’s vibrant and excellent primary school, Broadstairs’ Bromstone Primary, will face the loss of approximately £142,607 in real terms – or the equivalent to losing four teachers – even as it, like many other schools, faces growing demand for places.
Other schools in North Thanet will lose millions more. Herne Bay High School for example will lose a whopping £795,649 each year.
To assess the impact on other schools in your area, click on this link. It takes you to an interactive tool published by unions including the NUT, GMB, UNITE that uses published Department for Education data to calculate cuts to England’s schools.
The tool comes as a report by the National Audit Office shows that £6.7 billion is needed to rebuild dilapidated schools across the country – and as local authorities remain stripped of the right to build new schools.
As the Local Government Association puts it:
Councils fear that they will no longer be able to meet the rising costs for the creation of spaces, nor find the space for new classes, if they aren’t given the money or powers to do so. Councils have already diverted over £1 billion of their own budgets to create more places. If the crisis is to be dealt with properly the Government must commit to funding the creation of school places and hand powers back to councils so that they can open new schools, for both primary and secondary-age pupils.
This government seems to have curious antipathy to supporting the future of this country through a properly resourced education system; something epitomised not just by these cuts, but by its plans to slash visas for foreign students despite them contributing £26 billion to the economy. (Blooming immigrants with their intellectual curiosity, desire to better themselves and cold hard cash).
The transfer of school land and buildings to academy trusts worth £43.3 billion in the 2015/16 financial year, fragmentation of the education system through forced academisation (undermining the local accountability of schools) and pressure on foreign students all deserve more sustained attention. Simply defending the right of our local schools to teach our children is going to have to come first by the looks of it.
It’s really time to start fighting back. Schools are not some onerous, flabby social welfare burden on the exchequer. They are the future of our country and why we pay our taxes. When you come to vote, make education one of the first things that you think about.
nb – H/T to Ian Driver for the link to the school cuts site, which I found on his blog.