SCHOOLS in Weaver Vale stand to lose more than £3.4 million due to government cuts, research by the area’s MP has found.

Mike Amesbury sent questionnaires to 49 schools to try and gauge what impact cuts to education budgets had had on them.

It revealed that half of schools have experienced rising pupil numbers, with only 5% recording a fall since 2015.

Over 60% of schools have had to make staffing cuts in the same period, while 60% noted a fall or stagnation in Special Educational Needs (SEN) staff since 2015.

Teachers also revealed there had been cuts to books and equipment, teacher training and development, school trips, external student support and SEN provision.
According to the School Cuts website, over £3.4 million will be lost from the budget of 42 schools in the constituency from 2015 to 2020, averaging over £81,000 per school and £265 per pupil.

In one of the responses, a headteacher said: “Teaching assistants cover more planning and preparation time for teachers and rising SEN demand means less support for other children.
“Schools are also being asked to take on a wider role in family support and mental health. Cuts to social care mean Support Workers are only available for statutory work. Family support workers now cover what social workers used to do, leaving schools to pick up the early intervention work that they have no capacity for.

“As headteacher at least a day of my working week is spent on safeguarding and pastoral work, limiting capacity elsewhere.”

Overall, over three quarters of schools rated their financial sustainability as unhealthy or very unhealthy.

And 86.6% responded stating they were unsatisfied or very unsatisfied with the overall picture of the schools funding situation.

Mike said: “Regardless of our political persuasion we all want the very best for our children, but it’s clear what impact cuts to our education system are having. There’s also the issue of teacher pay rises, which are not being fully funded.

“In the recent budget the Chancellor talked about giving schools ‘the little extras’, but these things are not extras – they’re essential.

“I will continue to campaign for a fairer funding deal for Weaver Vale’s schools, so our children’s educations do not suffer.”

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