Anna Turley, Labour MP for Redcar, has criticised the Government’s cuts to school funding which will see more than £27 million lost from Teesside’s schools by 2020.
Schools in our region are facing a real terms funding gap, partly due to changes in the government’s funding formula and rising costs due to inflation.
The National Union of Teachers estimate the savings needed in the North East are equivalent to losing 3,203 teachers.
The only additional schools funding announced in the Budget was for new free schools and grammars, not existing schools struggling to cope.
Speaking in the House of Commons in a debate on the 2017 Budget today, Anna said:
“In Redcar & Cleveland we will be losing a whopping £7.8 million by 2020 – that is £422 per pupil in one of the most deprived areas of the country.
“Whilst our primary schools are in the top 10% in the country, our secondary schools desperately need more support, and the newly departed Lord Heseltine highlighted our poor secondary education in his report on the Tees Valley.
“When the Rt Hon member’s government closes our steelworks and batters our local economy, leaving us with over 3000 job losses and a youth unemployment rate 2.5 times higher than the national average, she owes it to our region to invest in the future of our young people, not to snuff out their potential before they’ve begun.”
Anna also called for greater regional investment in areas like technical education so that Teesside can deliver on its ambitions for a new industrial renaissance:
“The investment and opportunities that come with it will not benefit local people unless there is a revolution in skills and the technical education that we need to capitalise on future industrial opportunities.”