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"It is the responsibility of us all to ensure that young people get the best educational start in life" - choreographer backs Sheffield school funding campaign

Choreographer, director and dancer Gary Clarke
Choreographer, director and dancer Gary Clarke
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An award-winning choreographer called for every child in Sheffield to have the same education as others across the country as he backed the fair funding for schools campaign.

Gary Clarke, who was born in South Yorkshire, said it was the responsibility of everyone to ensure that children get the best education possible.

He has petition, launched by The Star and Sheffield Telegraph, which calls on the Government to redress the funding issue in Sheffield schools.

READ MORE: Sheffield school leaders warn of 'brutal' staffing cuts if 'appalling' funding goes ahead

The government's new national funding formula - aimed at redistributing funding to historically underfunded areas - helps the situation, but Sheffield does not get a fair deal quickly enough and headteachers are struggling to balance the books.

They have warned of mass redundancies, bigger class sizes and shorter school weeks.

Mr Clarke, whose acclaimed production COAL has toured nationally and internationally over the past two years, said: "Education is the one of the main keys to unlocking imagination and imagination is the root of all creativity in every walk of life.

READ MORE: Lib Dem politicians vow to help in fight for fairer school funding in Sheffield

"It is the responsibility of us all to ensure that young people get the best educational start in life.

"I know what education has helped me to achieve and I want every young person to have the same opportunities, regardless of where they live.

"Education is a universal right and the children of Sheffield deserve just the same funding as children across the country.”

Sheffield MPs have written to education secretary Damian Hinds MP calling on him to provide fair funding to city schools to 'avert a crisis’.

READ MORE: Sheffield MPs jointly call on education secretary to help avert funding crisis in the city’s schools

The Department for Education said the NFF is intended to correct historic disparities in the system, which involves redistributing funding to underfunded areas.

A spokesman said schools in the area would receive an increase in funding of 6.6 per cent - equivalent to £20.4 million - when the NFF is implemented in full by 2020/21.

To sign the petition click here.

Alternatively email news@thestar.co.uk or write Sam Jackson, The Star, The Balance, Pinfold Street, S1 2GU