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Richard Stainthorp to ask the Lead Councillor for Culture Heritage and Recreation: William Marshal As I am sure the Lead Councillor is awar...

20 Sept 2017

School funding cuts shouldn't deny children a full and varied education

School funding is being cut - there's little doubt about that.  Funding changes and increased costs mean schools in Reading have less money with which to provide your children with an education. The newly formed National Education Union have said:

Since 2015, schools in England have had their funding per pupil frozen while inflation and other costs rise, leading to an effective £2.8 billion real-terms cut.

Campaigning with the National Union of Teachers in October last year for investment in education, not cuts.
Talking to parents and teachers in Reading it's clear that these cuts are having a significant impact on schools.  Some departments are having their funding slashed.  I was talking to some art teachers last week who are struggling to buy supplies because there's little budget for them.

I know schools are reducing the number of teaching assistants they employ to save money.  This is denying children who require support, but do not have an Education, Health and Care plan, the help they need to thrive.

There is a Reading secondary school that has apparently cancelled work experience because they can't afford it!

How can we forget there is a school in Reading which wrote to parents asking for money to plug its funding gap?

Parents are being asked to pay for more and more of the activities that would have been covered by the school in previous years and this is while parents are facing their own budget struggles.  How long is this sustainable?  Will we see trips, cultural experiences and extra-curricular activities  disappear?  Will the curriculum be limited to only classroom based learning?

Each of these cuts is impacting on education.  Each extra activity that parents have to pay for is putting pressure on household budgets.  Each subject lost through budget cuts is a lost opportunity for our children to receive a full and varied education.

The Conservative government must review the way it's funding schools before our children are priced out of a full and varied education.

As Angela Rayner MP, Shadow Education secretary, said on a recent visit to Reading "It should be on the ability of the child to learn, not on the ability of the child's parents to pay."

From www.labour.org.uk/education

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