Schools miss out on millions in funding
Schools in Lynn have lost millions of pounds in vital funding because of the continuing squeeze on public finances, unions have claimed.
Data published by the School Cuts Coalition says the town’s 15 primary and secondary schools have missed out on more than £3.6 million between them over the past four years.
And that means spending per pupil is down by an average of £265 over the same period.
Ministers say schools here will receive more money in the new financial year, as a result of reforms to the way school funding is worked out nationally.
But the campaign, which is led by the National Educational Union and supported by several other trade unions, claims the vast majority of schools have been forced to make cuts.
It is urging parents and residents to join the fight for extra resources.
And Labour’s Jo Rust said there was already significant concern within the teaching profession.
She said yesterday: “I have been contacted by teachers who are really worried about what they are going to have to do.
“£265 per pupil is a significant amount.”
The coalition’s findings do not necessarily mean that all schools are receiving less money than they were.
Their figures say four of Lynn’s schools have a higher total income now than they did in 2015. Four remain largely stable, while seven have fallen.
However, the data suggests all of them are spending less per pupil now than they were four years ago, in some cases up to £600 per child.
North West Norfolk MP Sir Henry Bellingham said he had taken up the concerns raised with him by one headteacher with the government.
In their response, schools minister Nick Gibb said overall funding had increased by more than £2 billion nationally since 2017.
He added: “Under the NFF (national funding formula), schools in the North West Norfolk constituency would attract an increase of two per cent per pupil in 2019-20, compared to 2017-18 funding levels.
“This is equivalent to an increase of £1.7 million in total, when rising pupil numbers are taken into account.”
But Sir Henry said he would put the coalition’s figures to the government and suggested the way funding is distributed locally may be a contributory factor.
Norfolk County Council declined to comment on the figures when approached.
However, Mrs Rust argued that claims funding is being equalised across the country disguised a loss of funding from areas, such as West Norfolk, with previously recognised additional needs.
n What is the situation in your child’s school? Is there enough funding for education in West Norfolk? Email your views to firstname.lastname@example.org.