Sheffield MP confronts Prime Minister over fairer funding for city’s schools campaign

A Sheffield MP has challenged the Prime Minister over the Government’s record on providing fair funding for the city’s schools.

Wednesday, 8th May 2019, 14:32 pm
Updated Wednesday, 8th May 2019, 16:22 pm

Labour’s Sheffield Central MP Paul Blomfield took his opportunity during Prime Minister’s Questions today in Parliament to confront Theresa May over funding cuts to education budgets.

Paul Blomfield MP. Picture: Chris Etchells

The MP was joined by 14 school headteachers during a meeting with education ministers in March in which they put forward a letter signed by 171 Sheffield school headteachers that outlined their concerns over cuts.

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But he told the House of Commons the “reply didn’t address their concerns that the eight per cent real cut in funding since 2010 has brought our schools to a tipping point.”

Mr Blomfield criticised the Government for “reducing subject choice, limiting support for special needs, unable to cope with growing mental health demands.

“The changes in the national funding formula don’t address the crisis. So what will the Prime Minister do to ensure our children get the education they deserve?”

Theresa May replied: “In his own area he sees several thousand more children in good and outstanding schools, that is important.

“The Labour Party may talk constantly about the money going into schools but what matters is the quality of education that children receive.”

Last year The Star and Sheffield Telegraph launched a petition calling on the Government to fund Sheffield schools fairly.

The Government’s new national funding formula, aimed at redistributing funding to historically underfunded areas, may help the situation a little and will lead to an overall increase in funding for Sheffield by 2020/21.

But headteachers are said to be struggling to balance their budgets over the next few years.

More than 8,000 people have signed a petition calling for fair funding in Sheffield schools.

To add your signature visit www.change.org/p/fair-fund-for-sheffield-schools