SCHOOLS across the district could be set for major budget cuts in coming years if new Government funding plans are brought in.
New analysis of funding data published by the Department for Education has revealed that in Kirklees there has already been a real terms funding reduction of £54 less per pupil in 2016/17 than in 2015/16.
Teaching unions have now forecast that this will amount to cuts of £534 per pupil by 2020 in Dewsbury, while in Batley and Spen schools will suffer a 14 per cent reduction – which equates to £510 per pupil.
Batley and Spen MP Tracy Brabin branded the funding shake-up as “stealth cuts” and pleaded with the Secretary of State for Education to take urgent action in the Chancellor’s budget in March.
She said: “Batley and Spen educational leaders have told me how difficult it is to provide excellent education under strained financial circumstances.
“These funding figures will be a hammer blow to headteachers, teachers, pupils and parents.
“It’s said that school funding is a postcode lottery and looking at these figures, Kirklees definitely isn’t a winner.”
Most Kirklees secondary schools will have to make cuts of between £250,000 and £500,000 per year if the funding formula is approved.
“These stealth cuts will have a huge impact on pupils in my area,” Ms Brabin added.
“We all remember the days when buckets caught rain coming in through the ceiling and parents had to buy books because the school couldn’t afford them – we cannot and will not go back to those days and I will be working hand in hand with local schools to fight these unfair measures.”
Dewsbury and Mirfield MP Paula Sherriff said she had already seen the effects of funding cuts in schools in her constituency.
“Against the backdrop of a national crisis in teacher recruitment and retention, funding cuts are impacting on pupils in my area,” she said.
“I’ve already met with two local schools that are really struggling to balance the books.
“Schools are feeling the strain of seven years of Tory-led government.
“I will be fighting hard against further funding shortfalls which will see ever greater pressure on our school staff and class sizes.”
Union campaigners say that 98 per cent of schools across England will be worse off because rising prices and cost pressures will cancel out any budget increase.
The Government’s spending watchdog the National Audit Office has said that schools will have to make cuts that amount to £3 billion by 2020.