Cllr Joe Caluori, Executive Member for Children, Young People and Families, blogs about how only Islington Labour will guarantee the future of Islington schools’ funding.
On Monday (17 July), the Tories had another chance to guarantee the future of Islington schools’ funding. Unfortunately, but not surprisingly, they failed once again.
The Secretary of State for Education, Justine Greening, promised that schools in England would receive an extra £1.3bn over two years, but this is being funded without a penny of new money. The funding comes from savings made elsewhere within the education budget, including from important projects that keep our children healthy.
Per pupil funding for schools will be maintained in real terms for only two years. That is no better than applying a sticker plaster to a much bigger problem. The Government needs to be looking well beyond 2019 so schools can plan for the long term.
Rising pupil numbers and inflationary costs mean that the Government needs to stop recycling announcements and reshuffling money, and urgently pledge new funding to our schools.
Despite continued pressure from teachers’ and parents’ campaign groups, the Government is going ahead with its National Funding Formula. The Tories claim the Formula will level the playing field for schools across the country. In reality, schools in wealthy shires will benefit and schools in poorer areas like Islington will be hit hard.
I recently wrote to the Government urging them to guarantee sufficient funding for Islington’s schools. Their response expertly dodged the question and was lacklustre at best. Clearly, there is much more work to be done before their words become actions.
Only Labour will stand up for Islington’s schools. We will continue to work alongside local campaign groups, who were so well represented at last weekend’s march, to call for fairer funding for Islington’s schools, so they can continue to deliver an excellent education for all.
Pictured: Cllr Joe Caluori, Executive Member for Children, Young People and Families