Fears over school budget cuts

St Helens South MP Marie Rimmer
St Helens South MP Marie Rimmer
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Marie Rimmer MP has slammed the Government for failing local children as a report shows dozens of teachers in St Helens could be axed due to budget cuts.

Figures analysed by the Association of Teachers and Lecturers (ATL) and National Union of Teachers (NUT) show that schools in the borough will on average lose five per cent of their funding by 2020.

In St Helens South and Whiston, schools would lose funding equivalent to the salaries of 59 teachers.

In some schools, the cuts are even greater, the MP has said.

Adjusting for inflation, some schools stand to lose almost £500 per pupil by 2020. Based on current pupil numbers, Sutton Manor Community Primary School and Eccleston Mere Primary School could lose 11 per cent of their budget in real terms if current Government policies continue.

Marie Rimmer MP said: “Due to rising inflation, increased use of supply teachers and increased pension contributions, local school budgets are already under real pressure. Curriculum choices are being cut and pupils with special educational needs are losing the vital support they need.

“Further cuts of up to 11 per cent will inevitably lead to increased class sizes and staffing cuts as the Government shamefully tries to balance the books on the backs of our young people’s futures.

Speaking in a recent debate in Parliament, Ms Rimmer called for urgent action from the Government to tackle the growing recruitment crisis. Current shortages mean that schools are forced to use supply teachers to fill the void, frequently not qualified in the subject they are teaching and often at a much greater cost.

She added: “St Helens and Knowsley schools are facing real challenges with teacher recruitment and retention. Cutting their funding further will only make this problem worse.

“Instead of wasting millions on free schools and obsessing over a return to a 1960s grammar school system, the Government needs to address the funding crisis and work with schools and councils to tackle the issues they face.”