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

Paul Blomfield, Sheffield Central MP
Paul Blomfield, Sheffield Central MP
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Sheffield's Labour MPs have written to the education secretary calling on him to provide fair funding to city schools to avert a 'crisis'.

Sheffield Central MP Paul Blomfield, Penistone and Stocksbridge MP Angela Smith, Sheffield Heeley MP Louise Haigh, Sheffield South East MP Clive Betts and Brightside and Hillsborough MP Gill Furniss wrote the letter to Damian Hinds MP after is emerged that education leaders are considering mass redundancies, shortening the school week and increasing class sizes.

Gill Furniss, MP for Sheffield Brightside and Hillsborough

Gill Furniss, MP for Sheffield Brightside and Hillsborough

They have expressed their concerns about the implementation of the national funding formula, aimed at redistributing funding to historically underfunded areas, and urge Mr Hinds to implement Sheffield's allocation straight away.

READ MORE: Another school backs fair funding campaign as headteacher warns cuts to front line staff could be next
The Department for Education said when the NFF is implemented in full in 2020/21 then schools in the area will receive an extra £20 million in block funding, but education leaders have warned the time taken to phase in the formula is putting schools at financial risk.

In the letter the MPs said the next few years, before the formula is fully implemented, are 'critical for our schools' financial position''.

The letter states: "This delay in funding allocation is severely affecting Sheffield schools who have received year-on-year flat cash settlements since 2010, which have not kept pace with increased costs. We estimate in Sheffield that this equates to at least £30m.

Angela Smith, MP for Penistone and Stocksbridge

Angela Smith, MP for Penistone and Stocksbridge

"Whilst other schools across the country have faced similar restrictions, Sheffield's historical low base of funding means our schools are worse affected.

READ MORE: Primary school governor backs fairer funding for schools campaign
"Our position in funding will move us nationally from 105th, to 83rd this year, and to 59th when the funding is fully rolled out which illustrates our current low position.

"The increase in funding in future years will not make up for the funding that has been lost over the years."

This year, 2018/19 school will receive only £8.3m of the £20m block funding and £14.79m in 2020/21.

Clive Betts, MP for Sheffield South East

Clive Betts, MP for Sheffield South East

In addition, schools should receive a share of £60.46m for high needs funding if the NFF was introduced in full in 2018/19, but the delay means that it is missing out on £6.73m next year and £5.2m the following year.

The letter adds: "In summary, our concern is about the pace of implementation of the formula locally.

READ MORE: Former education secretary demands reversal to 'deeply unwelcoming' cuts to Sheffield school funding
"The £12m schools block funding that we are not receiving this year, and the £5.7m next year, is the issue.

"Given the financial context and historically low allocation, Sheffield schools are facing financial pressures they fear will mean severe cuts.

Louise Haigh, Sheffield Heeley MP

Louise Haigh, Sheffield Heeley MP

"We trust you can see that the current pace of change is seriously disadvantageous for Sheffield schools.

"Considering the above, we would like your help to implement Sheffield’s national funding formula allocations without delay and confirm our allocation for 2020/2021, as opposed to transitioning towards it; thereby providing the full £20m additional schools block funding and an additional £6.73m for the high needs block."

The Star and Sheffield Telegraph has launched a petition calling on the Government to fair fund Sheffield schools.

More than 7,000 people have already signed. To add your signature click here.