‘Schools hit hard by funding changes’

Coun Neil Dawson.
Coun Neil Dawson.

The new education funding policy proposed by the government will leave Morley schools struggling to pay teachers’ wages.

That is the warning from Morley South councillor Neil Dawson, who has slammed the planned new funding formula, claiming primary and secondary schools in the area will be “hit hard”.

Coun Dawson said: “With the focus on Brexit, the government is pushing through major changes to the funding formulae for schools that will hit Morley schools very hard.

“By 2019 Morley schools could lose nearly £2.5 million of funding.

“This will be extremely damaging to local schools and mean redundancies for teaching and other staff. I believe Tory MPs now need to face up to this crisis and call a halt to these proposed changes.”

The government said the new national funding formula would ensure cash was distributed more fairly between schools.

A report published ahead of the launch of a three-month consultation on the plans last December said: “We want all children to reach their full potential and to succeed in adult life.

“The current funding system does not support this aspiration.

“It is unfair, untransparent and out of date.

“Similar schools and local areas receive very different levels of funding, with little or no justification.”

The report said no school would face an overall reduction of more than three per cent per pupil.

But an analysis by the Education Policy Institute said there were unlikely to be any schools which would avoid real term cuts to funding, because any gains would not exceed rising running costs.

Taking into account the proposed new national funding formula, inflation and the education services grant, unions NAHT, Unite, Unison, GMB, ATL and NUT, have estimated Morley’s three secondary schools - Bruntcliffe, Woodkirk and Morley Academy - will face cuts of more than £1.39m by 2019.

And the area’s ten primary schools will have their budgets squeezed by nearly £1.09m.