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University of Sheffield backs The Star's campaign for better schools funding

Sir Keith Burnett.
Sir Keith Burnett.

Bosses at the University of Sheffield have thrown their weight behind The Star's campaign for better funding for schools in the city.

We launched our #FairFundSheffieldSchools appeal last week after statistics revealed Sheffield's pupils get hundreds of pounds less spent on them than children in other big cities.

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In just over a week the petition we launched has gathered more than 3000 signatures, while numerous civic leaders and other prominent figures have pledged their support.

The latest of which is Sir Keith Burnett, president and vice-chancellor, and professor Wyn Morgan, both of the University of Sheffield.

In a joint statement, they said: "Since our foundation over a hundred years ago, the university has been conscious of the need to raise the quality of education in Sheffield for the benefit of all, keenly aware that this begins with the very best teaching and facilities within schools.

"Through our work with schools at all levels across Sheffield, we see the talents and commitment of staff and pupils to the life-changing impact of excellent education.

"If our city and region are to thrive, we urgently need to address the challenge of properly-funded schools so that all our young people have access to the best teachers and learning resources needed to reach their potential."

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This comes after the leaders of all parties at Sheffield Council backed a motion calling on the Government to redress the balance on how the city’s schools are funded.

The motion, heard at full council meeting on Wednesday, states that it would cost £5.66 billion nationally to redress the cuts that have taken place.

Sheffield Brightside and Hillsborough MP Gill Furniss also backed the campaign and raised the issue with ministers in a debate on education funding in the House of Commons on Tuesday.

Last month, figures emerged that showed Sheffield schools are the worst funded out of all the major cities in England.

Headteachers in the city have warned that, unless urgent action is taken, they may have to make staff redundant or even cut the length of the school week.

To sign The Star's petition visit https://www.change.org/p/fair-fund-for-sheffieldschools.

You can also email news@thestar.co.uk, write to Sam Jackson, The Star, The Balance, Pinfold Street, S1 2GU or take a photograph with the hashtag #FairFundSheffieldSchools.

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The Department for Education says the new funding formula is intended to correct historic disparities in the system, which involves redistributing funding to underfunded areas.

A spokesman said that schools in the area would receive an increase in funding of 6.6 per cent - equivalent to £20.4 million - when the NFF is implemented in full by 2020/21.