MP takes school funding concerns to Westminster
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