Thousands sign petition to bring school funding back into the spotlight

As reported by the BBC, a petition about school funding – signed by 10,000 people – has been debated in parliament

An online petition on the topic of school funding – which was signed by over 10,000 people – across England was debated by MPs on Monday.

The petition was started by the Gateshead Head Teacher Association and highlights the fact that schools are being forced to cut staffing, subjects and activities due to funding not being in line with rising costs.

In January, a report by the Education Policy Institute (EPI) said that almost a third of local authority secondary schools in England are unable to cover their costs – statistics which clash with the government’s insistence that funding is higher than ever.

The EPI report also stated that the proportion of schools with budgets in the red have almost quadrupled in four years.

The e-petition says: “Schools are having to make difficult choices on how to spend their limited funding as their income has not kept pace with the rise in costs since 2010.

“All schools are working very hard to ‘make ends meet’ but this is becoming increasingly difficult and verging on almost impossible.”

In response to the petition, the Department for Education said: “We recognise schools are facing budgeting challenges and we are asking them to do more.

“We have increased funding by an extra £1.3bn across this year and next, over and above previous spending plans.”

Gateshead Head Teacher Association responded: “We need the government to hear how damaging the cuts have been to our funding.

“Schools across Gateshead are making very difficult decisions which will impact upon the quality of education they can provide.

“Many schools are having to cut back resources and reduce specialisms in subjects like music. All of this is ultimately detrimental for your child’s education.”

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