MP takes school fund­ing con­cerns to West­min­ster

Runcorn & Widnes Weekly News - - News - BY JOHN MCDOUGALL john.mcdougall@trin­i­tymir­ror.com @JMacD1988

DEREK Twigg led a del­e­ga­tion of head­teach­ers and Hal­ton Bor­ough Coun­cil rep­re­sen­ta­tives to dis­cuss con­cerns over in­ad­e­quate fund­ing for ed­u­ca­tion in the bor­ough with the schools min­is­ter.

Hal­ton MP Mr Twigg met Nick Gibb in West­min­ster last Wed­nes­day.

A spokeswoman for Mr Twigg’s of­fice said he has been mak­ing rep­re­sen­ta­tions for some time in Par­lia­ment about poor fund­ing for many Hal­ton schools.

Although ed­u­ca­tion min­is­ters have lis­tened to lob­by­ing from MPs and im­proved the fund­ing avail­able from what was on of­fer ear­lier this year, the spokeswoman said it still does not ad­dress the prob­lems faced by some smaller schools in Hal­ton and most se­condary schools.

As a re­sult, the schools are fac­ing ‘ma­jor chal­lenges’ re­gard­ing fund­ing and can­not rule out in fur­ther re­duc­tions in staff.

Mr Twigg said: “Although we had the op­por­tu­nity to fully air our con­cerns I am very dis­ap­pointed in the out­come of the meet­ing.

“The min­is­ter said there was no ex­tra money avail­able from the Trea­sury for ed­u­ca­tion and his de­part­ment had found sav­ings to in­crease fund­ing to schools un­der the new fund­ing for­mula but they had no new re­sources.

“He sug­gested there might be some­thing they could do to help small schools in fu­ture years but noth­ing was yet de­cided.

“It is un­ac­cept­able that some of our schools should be strug­gling fi­nan­cially es­pe­cially at a time when teach­ers are un­der in­creased pres­sure and we have real de­pri­va­tion is­sues here in Hal­ton, made worst by the in­tro­duc­tion of Uni­ver­sal Credit and ben­e­fit cuts.

“To im­prove our econ­omy and in­crease pro­duc­tiv­ity we need schools and col­leges to be prop­erly funded and our teach­ers sup­ported with the re­sources they need.”

Mr Twigg said he will be fur­ther rais­ing th­ese con­cerns with the Trea­sury and ‘ hope­fully’ ● ● speak in the Bud­get de­bate at the end of the month. He has vowed to con­tinue cam­paign­ing for a bet­ter deal for the bor­ough’s schools and chil­dren. A Hal­ton Bor­ough Coun­cil spokeswoman said: “We wel­come the in­crease in fund­ing the new na­tional fund­ing for­mula pro­vides for many pri­mary schools in the bor­ough but we are con­cerned about fund­ing lev­els for some of Hal­ton’s small­est pri­mary and se­condary schools. “At the meet­ing ar­ranged by Derek Twigg MP with the schools min­is­ter, Nick Gibb, the op­er­a­tional di­rec­tor for ed­u­ca­tion, CEO of Wade Dea­con Trust and prin­ci­pal of Dares­bury shared their con­cerns about the fu­ture fund­ing ar­range­ments. “It was, how­ever, dis­ap­point­ing that de­spite the case pre­sented no changes will be made to the na­tional fund­ing for­mula. “We would like to thank Derek Twigg MP for ar­rang­ing the meet­ing with the min­is­ter and for his on­go­ing sup­port in try­ing to se­cure ad­di­tional fund­ing for Hal­ton schools.”

Twigg: It un­ac­cept­able some of our schools should be strug­gling fi­nan­cially

Derek Twigg MP

Schools min­is­ter Nick Gibb

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