South London schools “hollowed out by £261m real terms cuts since 2010”

Campaigners are calling on the Government to increase school funding after new data revealed South London schools have seen £261million in real terms cuts since 2010.

The figures, from the Stop School Cuts campaign, show that the average South London local authority has seen a real terms cut of £787.08 per pupil.

In Lambeth, 99 per cent of state funded schools have had their funding cut since 2010, which reduced spending power by £41.5million. Across the 14-year period, each pupil in the borough lost £1,327 in real terms cuts.

In Southwark and Lewisham 86 per cent and 97 per cent of schools were affected by cuts respectively, losing 41.6million and 28.6million in spending power across the same period.

Ahead of next week’s budget, the Stop School Cuts campaign said £12.2billion worth of investment would be needed to reverse the impacts the cuts have had on schools across the UK.

Streatham MP Bell Ribeiro-Addy said: “These figures underscore how our education system has been hollowed out by 14 years of austerity, cuts and underinvestment.”

This comes as Government data, released last month, showed the Conservative Government has cut the annual growth in funding to state schools across the country – in cash terms – from eight per cent in 2023/24 to 3.1 per cent in 2024/5.

Streatham MP Bell Ribeiro Addy said South London’s education system has been ‘hollowed out’ by Government cuts (Picture: Bell Ribeiro Addy)

According to data from the National Education Union, schools across South London are now set to be hit by cuts in spending power of more than £10million in some boroughs.

The figures come as the education system already faces a building safety crisis which has left hundreds of South London schools needing urgent repairs. 

More than 200 schools around the UK have been affected by the aerated concrete crisis. A Parliamentary inquiry also found that 700,000 pupils are learning in classrooms that require major rebuilding and refurbishment.

Ms Ribeiro-Addy said: “Kids are learning in school buildings that are crumbling all around them and the teacher shortage is getting worse with every passing year.

“This crisis isn’t going to be fixed overnight, but until we reverse these cuts, things will only get worse. We have to start resourcing state schools properly.”

A spokeswoman for the Department of Education said: “Our well-established methodology, confirmed by the Institute for Fiscal Studies, shows that overall school funding is rising to more than £59.6 billion next year – the highest ever level in real terms per pupil.

“The NEU’s analysis fails to take into account the significant investment into the high needs budget, which will have risen to £10.5billion next year – an increase of over 60 per cent to since 2019/20.”

(Picture: Pixabay/Alicja)

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