22 June 2019 – the overnight press release

Tory leadership contenders must reverse school cuts

Liberal Democrat Education spokesperson Layla Moran will today use a speech at the ‘Together for Education Rally’ in Westminster to call on the Conservative Party leadership contenders to reverse cuts to schools.

According to the campaign, 91% of schools have suffered per-pupil funding cuts in real terms since 2015. It would cost £2.2 billion to bring funding back up to 2015 levels.

In a bid to reverse these cuts, parents, MPs, councillors and trade unionists will meet in London this Saturday for the Together for Education rally.

Liberal Democrat Education spokesperson Layla Moran is expected to say:

The Conservatives have cut schools to the bone.

But now, their leadership contenders have had an apparent change of heart. Boris and Jeremy are trying to outbid each other on schools funding Theresa May wants to steal their thunder by announcing new money for schools before either one of them gets the keys to Number 10.

All three of these people sit or have sat around the Cabinet table. They’ve stood up for the Government in the House of Commons or in the TV studio. If they want more money for schools, they’ve had the power to give it to them for years!

Try saying to a child on the autism spectrum who’s had their teaching assistant taken away, or the parent who now has to leave work early to pick their child up from school on a Friday lunchtime, that the reason their school isn’t properly funded is because Boris Johnson and Jeremy Hunt want to make a snazzy leadership election pledge.

Tell them that Theresa May has held money back for schools so that she can spite her successor. See what they say.

If you wanted evidence that school cuts are a political choice, this is it. This is putting party before country. Personal ambition before our children’s future.

Friends, this is not the way to run our schools. It’s time for the Tories to put their egos to one side, put their money where their mouths are and give schools the cash they need now.

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  • John Marriott 22nd Jun '19 - 3:50pm

    Money would help; but a Royal Commission would be even better. Let’s start by proposing that ALL academies and private LEAs (aka Academy Chains) be scrapped and brought back into local authority control. Then we could look at the so called charitable status of ‘Independent’ schools.

  • We do need to talk about the best way of funding schools. We need to recognise that cuts are not the opposite of increases. The costs in school are very difficult to reduce, as effectively most costs are fixed. The biggest costs are staff. Reduction in staff can usually only be done one person at a time. The school has to choose. We must recognise that for many schools this is something that needs to be dealt with each year as numbers fluctuate.
    Academies have added nothing to the running of schools. The academy chains have put schools under the control of non-elected boards. In some reported cases this has resulted in causing problems for the individual schools at great expense.
    The expertise that was in local authorities before the introduction of local management of schools is no longer there. We need positive proposals on how to bring some sense into the situation.
    And getting back to the press release we need a means of guaranteeing to schools that budgets, taking into account numbers of children, will never be cut.

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