Councillors have unanimously agreed a Labour motion calling for urgent fair funding to be given to children and education.
At last night’s full council meeting, Labour’s Cllr Trisha Long and Cllr Robyn Hattersley proposed and seconded a motion highlighting the cuts and underfunding which has taken place under the Tories since 2010, and called for a number of measures including adequate funding now to help children and the services on which they rely to recover from the pandemic.
Moss Bank Ward Councillor and Chair of Children and Young People’s scrutiny, Trisha Long, called for the Government to pay its debt to local children and young people. She says: “Ten years of Tory cuts cost St Helens’ children £5.3 million a year and this is set to rise. Funding education recovery at 90% less than its own expert identified as needed is appalling. The Government must pay for a credible and effective education strategy, so that all our children can access a good standard of education.”
Council Leader David Baines will now write to the Prime Minister to raise these concerns. He says: “All age groups, industries and communities have suffered to some extent in the past 18 months, but for children and young people – who have already endured a decade of underfunding and cuts to early years support, schools, and extracurricular activities such as youth services – it has been particularly tough.
If we don’t do all we can now, then an entire generation will suffer the consequences of our inaction for the rest of their lives.
I am very grateful to Cllr Long, Cllr Robyn Hattersley and Cllr Kate Groucutt for bringing this motion and standing up for children and young people in St Helens.”
The full motion reads:
As a Council, we have the ambition to ensure that every child and young person in our
Borough fulfils his or her educational potential. As parents, corporate parents, governors and
citizens we all need to make sure our schools have the resources to do the job. We have
done our part in recently agreeing to fund two new schools.
St. Helens Borough Council notes that
– As a result of Government cuts, pupils across England had 9% less spent on their
education in the decade to 2020
– Last month, the former Education Recovery Commissioner described the
Government’s pandemic recovery package as “feeble”
– Any promised recovery funding will only reach schools after the end of this year’s
– Unnecessary Government changes in the Pupil Premium Fund will deprive £150
million from the young people and schools most in need
Accordingly, the Council resolves that:
The Leader writes to the Prime Minister expressing our grave concerns about the lack of
national support for our children’s education and calling for:
1. A commitment in the coming Comprehensive Spending Review to make good the
reductions in real terms for education funding our children have suffered since
2. To commit to a pandemic recovery package of funding of the order of the £15 billion
called for by Sir Kevan Collins and the Education Policy Institute
3. An announcement that pandemic catch up funding will reach schools from
September and not sometime after November this year
4. Government thinks again about its change in Pupil Premium Funds