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Cheshire West councillor urges MPs to increase school funding

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A Cheshire West and Chester councillor is urging Government to inject at least £2.3bn cash into school funding to avoid a funding crisis.

Cllr Nicole Meardon, who is cabinet member for children and families, met with MPs in the House of Commons last Tuesday, as part of the F40 campaign group.

The group represents the worst funded education authorities in the country.

In Cheshire West and Chester, schools face budget cuts of almost £12 million by 2020, when compared to 2016 levels.

According to the Institute of Fiscal Studies, education funding in England has been cut by 8 per cent in real-terms.

Cllr Meardon commented: “Cheshire West schools are struggling with day to day costs. Schools are facing increasing costs with limited funding.

“As other public services are also being impacted by austerity, schools are expected to do more and more for pupils.”

Cllr Meardon added: “The funding issue is further exacerbated by the critical state of high needs funding used to support schools teaching children with special educational needs and disabilities.

“Current funding is inadequate to meet the demand.

“Our schools are having to make difficult choices but often the most vulnerable pupils are at risk. All children deserve the very best education possible so it is essential that the Government address the funding crisis urgently.”

The F40 group argues that at least £1.4 billion per annum must be added to the high needs funding block to avert crisis and have urged MPs to contact the chancellor Philip Hammond to increase education spending in the next comprehensive spending review.

Joining Cllr Meardon was MP for Crewe and Nantwich, Laura Smith – a vehement campaigner for improved funding for schools and vice chair of the F40 Campaign Group in parliament.

Like Cheshire West, schools in Cheshire East are also facing increased funding pressures.

Cllr Meardon said: “We need a funding system that works for all schools in Cheshire. Currently children in some parts of the country are worth less than children who live elsewhere. This is clearly not fair.

“Along with funding increases, we must see mechanisms for distributing funding change so that every child is valued and given every opportunity to flourish and schools can run effectively on the funds allocated.”

 

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