Adding up the tak­ing away

Con­cern pupils would be hit hard by pro­posed fund­ing cuts

Harefield Gazette - - NEWS - By Salina Pa­tel salina.pa­tel@trin­i­tymir­ror.com

SchoolS across west lon­don have raised con­cerns over pro­posed gov­ern­ment cuts in­clud­ing the abil­ity to con­tinue to hire ‘high qual­ity teach­ers and lead­ers.’

A con­sul­ta­tion is un­der way into pro­pos­als to re­cal­cu­late the Na­tional Fund­ing For­mula, un­der which schools will see fund­ing slashed.

Par­ents are be­ing urged to voice their op­po­si­tion on the is­sue with fears over the qual­ity of ed­u­ca­tion that will be de­liv­ered, as the gov­ern­ment wants to re­dis­tribute school fund­ing the coun­try.

Ac­cord­ing to Lon­don coun­cils the move will ef­fect around 70% of schools in the cap­i­tal, which is es­ti­mated to be more than 1,500 schools.

In Houn­slow, anal­y­sis pub­lished by six teach­ing unions claimed the bor­ough would re­ceive on av­er­age £462 less in spend­ing per pupil, as a re­sult of the gov­ern­ment’s for­mula changes.

At the Houn­slow bor­ough coun­cil meet­ing on Tues­day Jan­uary 31, coun­cil­lors sup­ported a mo­tion to call on the gov­ern­ment to fully con­sider the im­pact a sug­gested cut in fund­ing would have on schools in the bor­ough, and their abil­ity to main­tain high stan­dards and qual­ity of pro­vi­sion.

Coun­cil­lor Tom Bruce, across cabi­net mem­ber for ed­u­ca­tion at Houn­slow coun­cil , said: “A clear mes­sage was sent out to gov­ern­ment, from across the po­lit­i­cal di­vide in Houn­slow, to think again about fur­ther re­duc­tions to schools bud­gets in the bor­ough.”

MP for Brent­ford and Isle­worth Ruth Cad­bury spoke about her con­cerns in Par­lia­ment last week, par­tic­u­larly over the cuts lead­ing to fewer teach­ers which she says will “have a dev­as­tat­ing ef­fect on the qual­ity of ed­u­ca­tion given to our stu­dents.”

Kathryn HarperQuinn, head at Houn­slow Heath in­fants school, said: “Why does the gov­ern­ment feel that con­tin­u­ally rais­ing the ex­pec­ta­tions for what chil­dren are ex­pected to achieve is a suc­cess­ful strat­egy, while at the same time slash­ing the bud­gets that schools need to reach these high stan­dards?”

Schools in Ham­mer­smith and Ful­ham coun­cil face one of the big­gest cuts in the coun­try, los­ing £2.8m a year.

Anal­y­sis by six teach­ing unions claim pupils in the bor­ough will lose out by £796 a year per pupil on av­er­age, com­pared to 2015 fund­ing lev­els.

The anal­y­sis ranked the Ham­mer­smith con­stituency as the eighth worst hit in the coun­try and Chelsea and Ful­ham as sev­enth.

Peter Hay­lock, the ex­ec­u­tive prin­ci­pal of the Ful­ham Col­lege Academy Trust, and chair of the bor­ough’s Schools Fo­rum, said: “If schools’ bud­gets are cut, at a time when costs are in­creas­ingly sig­nif­i­cantly, it can only have a neg­a­tive ef­fect on the ed­u­ca­tion that we are able to de­liver.

“We will not be able to em­ploy the num­ber of high qual­ity teach­ers and lead­ers that we need to be able to main­tain stan­dards.”

Among the big­gest losers in the bor­ough will be Ark Burling­ton Danes Academy, Lon­don Or­a­tory, Sa­cred Heart, Mel­combe, ac­cord­ing to Ham­mer­smith and Ful­ham coun­cil.

Ham­mer­smith and Ful­ham coun­cil, coun­cil­lor Sue Fen­ni­more added: “It’s clear that the gov­ern­ment is try­ing to re­dis­tribute a pot of fund­ing that is just too small.

“Cut­ting fund­ing hard­est in Lon­don, rather than giv­ing all schools the money they need for teach­ers, build­ings and equip­ment, is di­vi­sive and just plain wrong.

“We’re back­ing all our lo­cal schools and par­ents and are call­ing on the gov­ern­ment to re­think these changes to the fund­ing for­mula be­fore the dam­age is done to chil­dren and young peo­ple’s ed­u­ca­tion.”

Other coun­cils in­clud­ing Eal­ing, Hilling­don, Brent and Har­row will be im­pacted. Coun­cils are urg­ing res­i­dents to share their views in the gov­ern­ment’s con­sul­ta­tion which runs un­til March 22.

Any par­ents or teach­ers who would like to raise their con­cerns to getwest­lon­don, please email salina.pa­tel@ trin­i­tymir­ror­com

GREAT CON­CERN: Ruth Cad­bury, MP for Brent­ford and Isle­worth, raised con­cerns in the House of Com­mons about Par­lia­ment about the school bud­get cuts

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