Peterborough calls for more school funding due to rising pressures

Cllr Lynne Ayres
Cllr Lynne Ayres
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Parents in Peterborough were urged by the city council to call on the Government for more school funding.

The Conservative-run council asked schools to share a Government petition with parents which called for additional money to be handed out.

The authority is also now writing to Secretary of State Damian Hinds asking for more funding.

According to the School Cuts website 50 city schools are expected to be worse off in 2020 compared to their funding in 2015.

The Government petition was signed by more than 1,300 people in Peterborough which helped it reach the necessary 100,000 mark to trigger a debate in Parliament.

That debate was held on Monday last week.

Details of the council’s calls for new school funding were revealed by cabinet member for education Cllr Lynne Ayres at last week’s Full Council meeting. Responding to a question from Cllr Ed Murphy, she declared that school funding had not kept pace with inflation and rising costs.

Jonathan Lewis, service director of education for Peterborough City Council, said: “Our schools and colleges continue to face financial challenges which have impacted on several aspects of education.

“For example in Peterborough, the recruitment and retention of teachers continues to be a significant issue, and our pupil to teacher ratio is now above the national average, so we are actively working to reduce this.

“But we need a fairer funding deal and will continue to campaign to the government for this. I attended the funding debate in Westminster last week and moving forward we will be writing to the Secretary of State and engaging with local MPs.”

The Government said it has increased funding for schools by an extra £1.3 billion this year. It added: “Figures from the Institute for Fiscal Studies show that in 2020, per pupil funding for five to 16-year-olds, adjusted for inflation, will be 50 per cent higher than in 2000, and 70 per cent higher than in 1990.”