St Helens Labour have called on the government to urgently give our local schools the funding they need.
Bringing a motion to last week’s full council meeting, Deputy Leader Sue Murphy – Cabinet Member for Developing Young People – told the meeting that 29 St Helens schools have forecast deficits for the financial year 2020-21, with two schools at risk of ending the current financial year in deficit. Some schools are hoping to balance the budgets with just £2,000 to £3,000 in reserves.
Councillor Murphy said: “Sadly, there are schools that can barely afford books and pens and some schools are asking parents to contribute to these costs.
The reality of this situation is that our school are on their knees. Less pastoral support, fewer support staff, fewer resources, less technology, less enrichment.
What comes next, fewer teachers?
It is a stark fact that unless we have investment in our school budgets, we will not have enough teachers to teach.”
Council Leader David Baines, a former Primary School teacher, says: “I’m grateful to Sue for bringing this motion and fighting for our schools. Last year I was contacted by St Thomas of Canterbury Primary School in my ward of Windle who are facing a serious budget deficit. With my ward colleague Mancyia Uddin and our MP Conor McGinn, we helped the school with a petition and a letter to the Secretary of Statre for Education, which Conor took to Downing Street with school staff and pupils.
It simply isn’t right that schools are being forced to worry about things like this. There are some things we should be able to take for granted, and properly funded schools are one of them.”
Find out how much your local school has lost under the Tories and Lib Dems since 2010 at https://schoolcuts.org.uk/
The full motion, which was unanimously supported, reads: “This Council notes with concern the increasing financial pressures that schools have experienced since 2010. In the view of this Council, the long period of time during which per pupil funding was frozen has had a damaging effect on the children in our schools. The recent funding announcement in respect of 2020/21 is not sufficient to reverse the chronic underfunding of schools. This Council resolves that the Chief Executive writes to the Secretary of State for Education to express these concerns and to request that school funding is increased in order to address the long-term underfunding of schools.”