Former education secretary demands reversal to 'deeply unwelcoming' cuts to Sheffield school funding

Lord David Blunkett shows his support for the camapign
Lord David Blunkett shows his support for the camapign

Former education secretary David Blunkett has backed the petition to get fairer funding for Sheffield schools.

Lord Blunkett, who was MP for the Sheffield Brightside and Hillsborough constituency for 28 years, felt it is important that the voices of children and their parents are heard in getting the cuts reversed.

Around 6,500 people have signed the petition launched by The Star and Sheffield Telegraph, with the backing of Sheffield Council, Learn Sheffield, the city’s six MPs, businesses, schools, community groups and individuals, calling on the Government to rethink its changes to school funding.

READ MORE: Staff at Sheffield school back campaign for fairer funding

Figures have revealed schools in city will receive £743 per pupil less than Manchester in 2018/19, £589 less than Nottingham and £80 per pupil less than Leeds - and under the Government's new national funding formula the area does not get 'a fair deal'.

An average sized primary school in Sheffield would receive £260,000 more, a secondary schools £822,000 more if its pupils were funded at the same rate as Manchester.

READ MORE: Sheffield tech tycoon backs petition to redress "chronic lack of funding" in city schools
Headteachers have warned of mass redundancies, bigger class sizes and shorter schools weeks if the situation does not change.

Teachers who have signed the petition have shared stories of being unable to afford text books and using their own money to buy stationary and other equipment.

Lord Blunkett said: "I wholeheartedly support The Star and Sheffield Telegraph’s campaign in seeking to reverse the deeply damaging cuts to our city schools and to the future prospects of our young people.

READ MORE: Sheffield unites to launch petition for fairer funding for city schools
"At a time when there is a sophisticated campaign being run nationally to switch additional funding into the military, it is vital that the voice of our children and their parents is heard in demanding the reversal of the deeply unwelcome cuts and instead to invest in our talent and economic future."

The Department for Education said the purpose of the new funding formula is to correct historic disparities in the funding system, which involves redistributing funding to historically underfunded areas.

To sign the petition click here.
Remember to tweet a picture of yourself holding a poster with the hashtag #FairFundSheffieldSchools. Alternatively email news@thestar.co.uk or write Sam Jackson, The Star, The Balance, Pinfold Street, S1 2GU