Lib Dem education spokesman to meet with Sheffield headteachers over funding crisis

The Liberal Democrat's education spokesman is to visit headteachers in Sheffield to discuss the school funding crisis.

By The Newsroom
Tuesday, 14th August 2018, 10:42 am
Updated Tuesday, 14th August 2018, 10:48 am
Liberal Democrat Parliamentary campaigner for Sheffield Hallam Laura Gordon outside Parliament
Liberal Democrat Parliamentary campaigner for Sheffield Hallam Laura Gordon outside Parliament

Layla Moran MP will come to Sheffield in November to discuss with school leaders the issues they are facing after headteachers warned they may have to make mass redundancies, increase class sizes and cut the school week because of budget pressures.

The Government’s new national funding formula - aimed at redistributing funding to historically underfunded areas - helps the situation and will lead to an overall increase in funding for Sheffield.

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But the way in which it is being implemented means Sheffield schools do not get a fair deal quickly enough and headteachers are struggling to balance the books.

Liberal Democrat Parliamentary campaigner for Sheffield Hallam, Laura Gordon has met with several headteachers from within the constituency to listen to their concerns and then given feedback to the Lib Dem spokesman on education.

Headteachers raised issues like no funding for maintenance and school upkeep, inadequate funding for special educational needs and needing to reduce the number of teaching assistants.

Ms Moran, a former teacher, said: "While we welcome the fact that the national funding formula will bring more money for schools in Sheffield which have been underfunded for far too long, Laura and I will continue to put pressure on the Government to deliver more funding for our schools and to give all teachers a real pay rise."

She added: “We must demand better for our schools in Sheffield, and across the country."

The Star and Sheffield Telegraph has launched a petition calling on the Government to redress the issue, bringing together Sheffield Council, Learn Sheffield, the city’s MPs, businesses, schools, community groups and residents to fight for fair funding.

Mrs Gordon said: "Headteachers in Sheffield are having to make difficult decisions that risk affecting the quality of education that our children are receiving - like reducing staffing numbers, cutting 'non-core' subjects, or cutting school hours to four and a half days per week.

"While the NFF will help with this, we need an uplift in funding to allow underfunded areas like Sheffield to benefit straight away.

“My Liberal Democrat colleague, Layla Moran MP, will be visiting Sheffield in November to meet with headteachers to discuss the issues they face."

The Department for Education said the NFF is intended to correct historic disparities in the system and that Sheffield schools will receive an increase in funding of 6.6 per cent - equivalent to £20.4 million - when it is implemented in full by 2020/21.

Nearly 8,000 people have signed the petition. To add your signature click here.