Hinckley and Bosworth Liberal Democrats are calling on the Chancellor to protect education spending, as shocking new figures show that schools in Hinckley and Bosworth face cuts in their spending power of £2.6million next year.
Liberal Democrats in Hinckley and Bosworth have called on Chancellor Jeremy Hunt not to make children and young people pay for the Conservatives' botched Budget by cutting school and college funding further during next week's Autumn Statement.
The figures, published today (8 November) by the 'School Cuts' campaign run by teaching unions, reveal that schools in Hinckley and Bosworth will have £179 less to spend per pupil next year (2023/24) compared to this year (2022/23).
In total, nearly all, 35 out of the 37 schools in the Bosworth constituency will see a reduction in their spending power next year compared to this year.
The figures estimate the true spending power that schools have after increases in teacher salaries, pensions, tax and non-staff costs have all been taken into account. It comes after the Government instructed council-run schools to give teachers a much-deserved pay rise of between 5% and 8.9% this year, but gave schools no extra money to pay for it, meaning that they had to make cuts elsewhere.
Overall, nine in ten schools across England will have less spending power next year compared to this year. More than two in three schools in England will have a lower spending power next year than in 2015.
Liberal Democrat parliamentary spokesperson for Hinckley and Bosworth Councillor Michael Mullaney said:
"Under this Government, schools must choose between teaching children or heating classrooms. Headteachers are warning that they will have to cut teaching assistants, mental health support and school clubs in order to make ends meet.
"Liberal Democrats know that a fair deal for Hinckley and Bosworth means investing in our chidren's futures. Parents and teachers will be rightly angry if the Chancellor announces more cuts to schools and colleges next week.
"This is sadly another example of how our local areas services are sadly too often put to the back of the queue by this Tory government that takes our area for granted."
Liberal Democrat Education Spokesperson Munira Wilson MP added:
"The Conservatives are planning more public spending cuts to pay for their own economic incompetence. School trips are already being axed, teaching assistants are being laid off and urgent classroom repairs are being ignored.
"Rishi Sunak and Jeremy Hunt must confirm urgently that they will not cut real-terms funding for schools and colleges during next week's Autumn Statement. The Conservatives must not balance the books on the backs of our children and young people."
Data taken from the https://schoolcuts.org.uk/ website, maintained by the National Education Union, which was updated with figures for 2023/24 today (8 November). An explanation of their methodology is available on their website.
A Hinckley County Councillor has renewed calls for a safe road crossing to be installed near a Hinckley School.
Lib Dem Councillor for Hinckley De Montfort Michael Mullaney has campaigned with local parents, residents and fellow Hinckley Councillors David Bill and Stuart Bray to get a safe crossing near St Peter’s School on London Road, Hinckley.
This follows news that Leicestershire County Council have again decided against putting a crossing there.
In a written submission to the County Council’s Highways and Transport Scrutiny Committee Michael Mullaney set out why a crossing was still needed there
“A huge number of residents in the area I represent on the County Council and the area my two fellow Hinckley County Councillors David Bill and Stuart Bray represent support a safe crossing at St Peter’s School on London Road in Hinckley. 8,850 residents signed a petition supporting the campaign.
“There are safety concerns, there have been a number of near misses involving pupils and parents going to the school. Although not recorded it is believed that there was an accident leading to a fatality some years ago along this part of London Road when a pedestrian was knocked over.
“Whilst I appreciate the extra road safety measures that are proposed for London Road near St Peter’s School I am extremely disappointed that the request for a safe road crossing has not been supported in the report.
“There is widespread support for it and Cllrs Bill, Bray and myself identified funding for putting a crossing in at the site through the Members Highway Fund, a fund which was developed with the apparent intention of supporting Highways causes that were important in Councillor’s local areas.
“Whilst it’s welcome that a crossing person has been recruited for St Peter’s School there is always the risk that the person may step down from the job and it may be difficult to find a new person (as it took some years to recruit a crossing person there, with no school crossing patrol between 2017 and 2022 despite attempts to recruit to the post). A safe pedestrian crossing at the site however would be a permanent safety measure that would benefit pupils and parents and residents more generally crossing the road there.
“Whilst I welcome the fact there will be some safety improvements at the site I and many residents believe there still needs to be a safe permanent crossing at St Peter’s School. I therefore urge the County Council to rethink and agree to installing a crossing near St Peter’s School”