Heeley MP condemns cuts to Sheffield schools 

A Sheffield MP has hit out at the Government after new figures revealed the severity of cuts to school budgets in Sheffield.

Louise Haigh, MP for Sheffield Heeley, condemned the figures released by the House of Commons Library, which showed that her constituency has been badly hit by government cuts to its Schools Block funding allocations. 

Sheffield Heeley MP Louise Haigh.

Sheffield Heeley MP Louise Haigh.

The budgets of schools in the Heeley constituency were slashed from £51.5 million in 2013/14 to £49 million in 2017/18 – a £2.5 million cut which amounted to a reduction of £348 or seven per cent for each pupil. 

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In comparison, the average funding cut for pupils in Yorkshire and the Humber was £239, meaning a five per cent reduction, while pupils across England as a whole lost on average £212 or 4 per cent.

Last year, Damian Hinds and Theresa May both promised that ‘every school’ would get a cash increase in 2019.

Thirty-four schools in Sheffield have seen a reduction in their Schools Block funding allocations

Thirty-four schools in Sheffield have seen a reduction in their Schools Block funding allocations

However new analysis by the National Education Union of the Schools Block funding allocations showed the Government failed to follow through on that commitment for 4,819 schools.

This meant that a quarter of primary schools and one in six secondary schools received no cash increase or suffered an actual cut to their funding.

Thirty-four schools in Sheffield – around a fifth of those in the city - have seen a reduction in their Schools Block funding allocations for 2018/19. 

In total, these schools have lost nearly £2 million in a single year, with some individual schools losing over £100,000. 

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Ms Haigh MP said: “Since 2015, the Government has cut school budgets by £1.7 billion, which goes to show how little the Tories care about our children’s education.

“After years of underinvestment in our education system, it’s shameful that three schools in my area have had their budgets for 2018/19 cut.

“This new round of cuts puts yet more strain on schools that are already struggling to afford basic supplies like books and stationery.

“In contrast, a Labour government would reverse these cuts and give schools the resources they need to ensure that every child receives a good education.”

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 area.

A spokesperson said that schools in the area will attract an increase in funding 6.6 per cent – equivalent to £20.4 million – when the NFF is implemented in full by 2020/21. 

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In June, The Star and Sheffield Telegraph launched a #FairFundSheffieldSchools campaign to get fairer funding for city schools. 

And, although the Government’s new nation funding formula helps the situation, Sheffield does not get a fair deal quickly enough leaving many headteachers trying to balance the books. 

To date, more than 8,000 people have signed the petition calling on the Government to readdress the funding issue Sheffield schools are facing. 

You can sign the online petition here.