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Gloria De Piero

Gloria slams Government for leaving schools to struggle

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Ashfield and Eastwood MP Gloria De Piero has criticised the Government for cutting school funding, leaving headteachers forced to make difficult decisions to balance their books.

Gloria raised the plight of local schools during an Opposition Day debate in the Commons last week.

She cited the case of Brookhill Leys Primary School in Eastwood after headteacher Jacquie Sainsbury told her that she has had to make savings of over £200,000 from her budget.

Mrs Sainsbury said that it is impossible to find enough money to cover the costs of building maintenance work, special needs support, educational resources and support staff.

Speaking in the Chamber, Gloria asked: “Do the Government not have a duty to help headteachers such as Mrs Sainsbury?”

The Opposition Debate was called by the Labour Party because of the impact that school funding cuts is having on children’s’ education.

According to the National Audit Office and Institute for Fiscal Studies, there will be an eight per cent real-terms reduction in per-pupil funding for mainstream schools between 2014/15 and 2019/20 due to pressures such as inflation and increased employer national insurance contributions.

National Union of Teachers figures put the cuts suffered by Ashfield schools at minus 12 per cent in per-pupil funding between 2013 and 2019.

Gloria said: “This Government is overseeing the first real-terms cut in schools budgets for decades.

“When Labour was in power, spending increased by an average of 4.2 per cent a year but now schools are struggling more and more to plug the gaps in their funding.

“It will soon be at the point where the only way to make savings is by cutting teachers which will mean class sizes will rise and children’s education will suffer.”

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