Batley and Spen MP Tracy Brabin says schools in her constituency have seen their funding per pupil slashed by an average of more than £400.
According to the MP, figures show the worst hit secondary school in Batley and Spen has lost £944 per pupil since 2015, and the worst hit primary has seen its funding per pupil fall by £825. Three secondary schools in the constituency have each lost out on more than £2 million since 2015, claims Ms Brabin, with the worst hit primary school missing out on £910,000 in real terms. The Prime Minister announced a £14 billion investment to school funding last month, but Tracy says this will not go far enough. In Kirklees alone, she says, over the past five years schools have missed out on £97 million in funding, and that of the local authority’s 166 schools, only three have been spared per pupil funding cuts. She says that in Batley and Spen, just one school saw its funding per pupil rise, but it still missed out on funding worth £174,605. Tracy Brabin, MP for Batley and Spen, said: “Schools in my constituency have lost out on an average of £600,000 in real terms funding since 2015. “Class sizes have swollen and staff have had to be sacrificed, which has a huge impact on children’s learning. “Staff are paying for key resources out of their own pockets, and crucial areas of the curriculum, such as music, art and German are falling victim to funding cuts. “To ensure our children are not left behind, the Prime Minister needed to make a serious investment in schools, targeting schools in less affluent areas to boost social mobility and pupils’ aspirations. “Instead he has announced inadequate funding which will see many schools still forced to make cuts and unfairly benefit leafy Conservative areas. “This is his idea of ‘levelling up’ the schools system, giving more money to well-off areas and taking it away from places that really need it.” A Department for Education spokesperson said: “With the Schools budget rising from around £850m a week this year, to £900m a week next year, £950m a week in 2021-22 and to £1,000m a week in 2022-23, the IFS has said that the Government’s latest investment will restore real terms per pupil funding to 2015-16 levels in three years – as high as it has ever been. “Next year all schools will attract at least an inflationary increase in funding per pupil - with secondary schools receiving a minimum of £5,000 per pupil next year and primary schools getting £3,750, rising to £4,000 in 2021-22. “On top of this Government has also committed to fully funding teachers’ pensions at a cost of £1.5bn a year for each of the next three years - so every penny of the extra money goes to schools and teachers. “It’s because we’ve recognised the pressures schools have faced and have listened to teachers and parents that we are investing an extra £14bn in schools over the next three years to 2022-23. This money will allow schools to invest more in teachers and resources to ensure that all children get the top quality education they deserve.”