BY JAMES TWOMEY
Town hall officials have revealed plans to put pressure on the Government after cuts of £33.6million have been made to schools in the past five years.
Greenwich councillors raised the issue with a motion ahead of tomorrow’s council meeting to try and raise more funds for schools to reduce the deficit of £357 per pupil since 2015.
The group of councillors, which includes the deputy leader of Greenwich, David Gardner, challenged the council to join other councils and Greenwich’s MPs in opposing the Government’s ongoing cuts to school budgets and call for more funding to be invested in education; to call on the Government to fully fund the pay increase for teachers that is independently recommended by the School Teachers’ Review Body, and to support the coalition of trade unions campaigning against school cuts.
They also called Chancellor Philip Hammond’s recent announcement of £400million extra for schools “a drop in the ocean compared to the £2.5billion that has been cut since 2015” and a lack of extra funding will leave “the most vulnerable pupils without the support they need”.
A council spokeswoman said: “The future of our schools and pupils is at risk because of changes to how schools are funded.
“Funding for the borough has been at the same level since 2012, while the number of new schools and pupils has increased year-on-year. At the same time, schools’ costs, such as salaries and utilities, have increased.
“In recent years our schools have had to cut the number of teaching assistants, support staff and even remove teaching posts to balance budgets. At the current rate of funding, it means that many schools will not be able to balance their books within three years.”
We asked the Department for Education for a comment, but it was unable to provide one before we went to press.
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