Posted: 22 February, 2012 at 1:40 pm
ROTHERHAM secondary schools are facing the biggest funding cuts in the country, two of the town’s MPs have warned.
The budget for all schools in the borough could be cut by over £17m by 2014-15 under government plans to change the way they are funded.
The Institute for Fiscal Studies (IFS) has assessed the proposals and concluded that primary schools in Rotherham would receive between £3.2m and £4.7m less (3.8% to 5.5%) and secondary schools between £11m and £12.5m less (11.8% to 13.4%).
The IFS say Buckinghamshire and Surrey are among those standing to gain the most (over 10% increases) while the biggest losers would be Liverpool, Rotherham and Wolverhampton (over 10% falls).
John Healey, MP for Wentworth and Dearne, and Kevin Barron, MP for Rother Valley both hit out at the Education Secretary at a debate in Parliament yesterday (Monday 21 November).
Mr Barron said: “The findings of the Institute for Fiscal Studies on Rotherham metropolitan borough indicate that secondary school education will take a spending cut of between 11.8% and 13.4%. Given that Rotherham is still in the highest 20% of deprived areas in this country, what has happened to the concept of “We’re all in it together”?”
Mr Healey said: “The Secretary of State did not answer the question from my right hon. friend the Member for Rother Valley (Mr Barron), which was about the distribution of funding under the Secretary of State’s direct funding plans. Rotherham secondary schools are set to lose out by £12 million in an area where we already have high and rising deprivation. This is simply wrong. Will he give a guarantee to local parents, students and teachers that they will not lose out like this?”
After the debate, Mr Healey said: “Rotherham is set to be the biggest loser under these plans but we’re facing big and increasing problems and challenges.
“There can be no doubt that these cuts will have a significant impact on our young people.”
Mr Barron said: “As well as these cuts to schools, this Tory-led Government are reducing funding to Sure Start centres, have scrapped the Education Maintenance Allowance and they’re siphoning off money to fund free schools that no one needs or wants.
“They’re stacking the odds against young people in Rotherham when it’s their job to do everything possible to help them reach their potential.”
Mr Healey and Mr Barron have written to the Education Secretary Michael Gove questioning the fairness of his school funding proposals.
Notes to editors