‘End school funding crisis’: Richmond council leader delivers letter to Government

Richmond's council leader joined more than 30 councillors across the country to present a letter calling for an end to the school funding crisis to the Government.

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Gareth Roberts delivered the cross-party document, organised by the National Education Union and signed by 1000 councillors, to Education Secretary Damian Hinds, expressing concern about the financial predicament of schools in the UK.

In the letter, signatories urge the Government to invest more money in schools in the Spending Review this year to help “meet the huge funding crisis across education, which is resulting in growing budget deficits, cuts in teaching staff, a reduction in some subject areas, and a poorer education for children.”

The Institute for Fiscal Studies states that schools have suffered a cut of 8 per cent per pupil since 2010.

The Education Policy Institute has said almost a third of all council-run secondary schools are now in deficit and, according to last year’s Kreston UK report, eight in ten academies are in deficit.

Cllr Roberts said: “The chronic underfunding of education is a national crisis, and in Richmond upon Thames this is particularly harshly felt in the delivery of special needs education.

“For many months we have been working with colleagues from across local government, as well as our local school community, to urge the Government to properly fund education and the letter delivered to Mr Hinds today reinforces those calls.

“Our residents, and particularly our SEND community, should know the Council is doing everything in its power to ensure you get a better funding deal from central government. And we will continue to fight for you at every opportunity.”

The Department of Education recently stated that there is “more money going into schools than ever before” but recognised schools face budgeting challenges.

It said it had introduced support to help schools reduce costs and that Education Secretary Damian Hinds had “made clear that as we approach the next spending review, he will back headteachers to have the resources they need”.

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