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School the 4th emergency service

From Sue McMahon

Saturday, 18 November 2023

Schools are facing the consequences of over a decade of underfunding, but will this be addressed by the Chancellor's Autumn Statement? 

In October, Prime Minister Rishi Sunak, told the Conservative Party Conference: "And conference, I can tell you, my main funding priority in every spending review from now on will be education." 

Two days later, the Department for Education, informed schools that there had been an error in calculating funding, schools would get less, having previously been told in July to expect more.

Inflation may well be decreasing, but the costs that schools incur is still rising. We expect schools will be unable to cope with cost increases, without cutting education provision.

We know through our recent survey of Calderdale primary schools:

88% did not replace staff who left.
67% made cuts to support staff.
42% made cuts to teaching staff.

A startling increase to the previous year's figures. We are aware that schools have also had to:

Reduce the budget on school meals,
Cut classroom resources,
And reduce the curriculum.

Whilst the number of children with complex needs has increased, the funding to find the additional support has diminished. Our children have been let down, not by Calderdale schools or teachers, but by the abysmal performance of the Secretary of State and her predecessors, who are choosing to ignore the real impact that underfunding is having in schools. 

Schools are now the fourth emergency service, as the lack of funding and the impact it's having on children is an emergency.

Sue McMahon
Calderdale Against School Cuts