How Peterborough fares in the school funding cuts league table

A new table has revealed how Peterborough’s two constituencies fare compared to the rest of England when it comes to cuts to school funding.

Saturday, 9th November 2019, 5:00 am
Education news

Figures produced by the National Education Union have come from the School Cuts website which has used official government data to calculate funding per pupil for all constituencies.

According to the data, the Peterborough constituency ranks 296th out of 533 for the most affected, with funding per pupil £227 less in 2015/16 compared to 2020/21.

The North West Cambridgeshire constituency - where a lot Peterborough schools are based - ranks 341th (£198 drop per pupil), while the North East Cambridgeshire constituency - which includes schools in the Fens - is 365th, one place above South Holland and the Deepings.

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Grantham and Stamford is 403rd, while Huntingdon is 434th and Corby 91st.

The Government announced a funding rise for schools last month which should see the Peterborough authority area (as opposed to the constituency) benefit by approximately £10.5 million, although the city council’s service director for education Jonathan Lewis said this was “less than we were hoping for”.

Back in July the council’s cabinet member for education Cllr Lynne Ayres wrote to the Department for Education highlighting the funding pressures schools in Peterborough were under.

She said Peterborough had seen a 10 per cent real terms cut in its funding since 2010, forcing headteachers to lose teaching assistants and use apprentices to cover roles, on top of many other cutbacks.

The Peterborough Telegraph has also revealed that teachers are having to use laptops with Lego pieces replacing broken keys because they cannot to afford replace the equipment, while schools are increasingly relying on the goodwill of parents to pay for extra-curricular activities.

Mr Lewis has also said the situation is “as bad as I’ve ever seen it,” and that schools may be forced to close some days.

Kevin Courtney, joint general secretary of the National Education Union, said: “Our constituency league table should send shockwaves through the country. The future of education hangs in the balance. We need real solutions and in this General Election we implore voters to scrutinise manifesto commitments closely.

“If you value education, you must vote education.”

The Government has previously criticised the Schools Cuts website and called its figures “misleading”. It added that pupil funding for local authorities has been increasing since 2017.

Schools Cuts said it looked at Schools Block allocations for the years 2015/16 to 2018/19 and used the National Funding Formula indicative allocations for the years 2019/20 and 2020/21.