Guest Column: Government must promise to end cuts to schools budget

Sir Kevin Barron MP
Sir Kevin Barron MP

This week in Parliament Labour called on the Government to ensure that no school in England has a cash terms reduction in its budget.

I know many people share my concerns about this issue and the impact of funding cuts on schools in our area and across the country.

The Government plans to introduce a new national funding formula in 2018-19 but it is not enough to reverse the £2.7 billion in real-term cuts that schools have suffered since 2015.

The independent Institute for Fiscal Studies has also said there will still have been a cut in real terms funding for schools of 4.6 per cent between 2015 and 2019.

Therefore, we are still facing the first real-terms cut in the schools budget for more than two decades.

Real questions also remain about the length of the transition to the new funding formula and whether the wider cuts facing school budgets will be reversed.

I remain concerned that the overall level of education funding remains inadequate and that for many pupils and schools, funding will fall in real terms between now and 2020. 

At the General Election, I stood on a manifesto which pledged to reverse the cuts seen in recent years to school budgets and to give a real terms increase to school funding over the course of this Parliament, as well as introduce a new national funding formula in which no school would lose funding.

I will continue to press for a different approach whereby schools are provided with the resources they need, funding cuts are reversed and the schools budget is increased in real terms.

I believe this is vital to improve standards across all our schools and to deliver an education which enables all of our children to reach their full potential.