Haringey parents will continue to fight for ‘fairer school funding’ following autumn budget

Students at St Aidan's Primary School 'floss for funding' as part of national campaign. Photo by Ste

Students at St Aidan's Primary School 'floss for funding' as part of national campaign. Photo by Steven Gray - Credit: Archant

Haringey parents will continue to fight for “fairer funding” for schools following the chancellor’s autumn budget.

Phillip Hammond announced in his budget on Monday that schools in England are to receive a one-off £400 million to buy “that extra bit of kit”, the equivalent of £10,000 per primary school and £50,000 per secondary school.

The language used by Mr Hammond has been criticised by union leaders and called “utterly insulting to parents and teachers” by shadow education secretary Angela Rayner.

Campaigners in Haringey say that schools will have seen a real terms spending cut of £10.6m from 2015 to 2020 – a loss of £346 per pupil across the borough over that period.

Hornsey and Wood Green MP Catherine West said: “How can the Tories have the audacity to say austerity is at an end when schools, like so many of our vital public services, are struggling to cope with the loss of thousands of teachers, dilapidated school buildings, inadequate resources for special educational needs support, and increasingly relying on parental donations to pay for the essentials.”

Ms West has been a regular speaker at several rallies over the past couple of years for Fair Funding For All Schools, a national parent-led campaign group formed by parents in Haringey.

Jo Yurky, one of the group’s co-founder and a Rhodes Avenue Primary School parent, said: “Our schools are really up against it. Heads across the country and in our area are saying they cannot make ends meet.

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“As parents we see what takes place in our schools. We see the loss of staff. We get the e-mails asking for more donations. “We are sick and tired of ministers misleading us about school funding.

“Enough is enough, our schools need more money and we owe it to our children to provide a future for them and for our country.”

Louise Mellor, parent at St Aidan’s in Stroud Green, added: “Two years ago, we were warned that school budget reductions posed significant risks for educational outcomes, and that these risks were not being managed effectively.

“I am concerned to see the negative impact of these on-going reductions, which are leading to diminished school experiences, risking educational attainment and reducing life-long opportunities.”

Mr Hammond also announced that he would give £1.7m for educational programmes in schools to mark the 75th anniversary of the Bergen-Belsen Nazi concentration camps.