The National Education Union (NEU) is urging Education Secretary Damian Hinds to put more money into schools to address what they have called a “huge funding crisis across education”.
The NEU said 1,115 councillors across the country signed the letter, including Sheffield’s Cabinet Member for Education and Skills Cllr Jayne Dunn on behalf of all Sheffield Labour councillors.
The letter calls on the Government to reverse cuts to funding made since 2010, give schools the funding they need and to properly support Special Educational Needs and Disabilities provision. Last week this letter was handed in to the Department for Education.
According to NEU figures 145 of the 156 schools across Sheffield are continuing to facing cuts.
Local Cllr Ben Curran, Labour Councillor for Walkley, said:
“These brutal cuts are taking a stranglehold on our children’s education. The research carried out by the NEU shows the five schools in Walkley will have lost nearly £800,000 in funding. This is a phenomenal amount to be cut from local schools and will only create barriers for our children in the future. Children is Walkley have done nothing to become the victims of the government’s dogmatic austerity drive.”
“I have spoken with staff in all of the schools in Walkley and have heard firsthand of the difficulties our local schools are facing due to government cuts. Our teachers do a fantastic and difficult job in educating our children. They shouldn’t need to cope with the pressure of declining budgets on top of that.”
Sheffield Labour councillors are campaigning against these cuts, and earlier this month highlighted the financial difficulties of schools in the city, and the damaging effect continued austerity is having on the future of children and young people.
Cllr David Barker, Labour Councillor for Mosborough, spoke in a Council debate about the impact the cuts are having on Shortbrook Nursery and primary school in Westfield, where he is a school governor, commenting:
“Many pupils face significant difficulties in their lives but, with the school’s help, they are successful in overcoming those barriers to make good progress. Pupils who have identified behaviour difficulties can develop successful ways of improving their behaviour.
“But this is becoming harder as teachers need to do more but with much fewer resources. The school has lost the equivalent to £550 per pupil. This is simply unacceptable – and it means despite the best efforts of teachers that children with additional needs are often not getting the support they need”.
Backing the efforts to secure better funding for Sheffield schools Cllr Jayne Dunn, Sheffield’s Cabinet Member for Education and Skills said:
“I am glad that the National Union of Teachers are taking a stand and I am happy to give my support. We are trying to do everything we can to ensure that every child has the best possible education, no matter where they are in the city, but this is becoming increasingly hard because of continued austerity. We desperately need government to match our ambition – and until they do we won’t stop shouting about it!”