‘Children should not be made the victims of austerity’, newspaper states

A Shropshire newspaper has vocalised its concern over a drop in per pupil funding in the area, adding that education no longer appears to be a focus

The Shropshire Star has released an opinion piece which highlights the UK’s lessened focus on education, as well as the drop in per pupil funding in the area.

When Tony Blair came into power 21 years ago, education was at the top of the governmental agenda. ‘As the nation continues to focus on Brexit, public services continue to face decline,’ the article states.

While the NHS and other public services struggle to keep pace in the face of persistent cuts, ‘schools are finding it hard to maintain standards as budgets come under pressure’.

Per pupil funding has dropped in real terms in the Shropshire and Telford & Wrekin areas. The article describes this as not a surprise at all, but ‘a worrying trend for parents and teachers’.

‘We have long suspected that this region is losing out to other parts of the country. [New figures] reinforce this view.’

The piece continues:

‘It is vital that schools are able to give our youngsters the start in life they deserve. With funding per pupil dropping by three per cent in real terms in Shropshire and five per cent in Telford & Wrekin, we are putting the future of children in jeopardy.’

The article states that, in the midst of political war, not enough attention is being paid to the improvement of education. ‘And while it is understandable that the political focus remains on Brexit, which is the biggest political challenge of the post-war era, it must not be at all costs.

‘Enormously important domestic issues are in danger of being sidelined as politicians look at our future trading, immigration and security arrangements with Europe and the rest of the world. Health and education are among those issues.’

The articles goes on to say that, at local levels, MPs and councillors should be proving themselves strong representatives in order to secure a better future for the children of the UK.

‘They must put the matter on the agenda of national decision-makers as they seek finance to stop the rot.

‘Children should not be made the victims of this era of austerity,’ the piece concludes.

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