On Tuesday I hosted headteachers from across Sheffield on a visit to Westminster to make the case for the funding our schools need to give our children the future they deserve. Together we met Schools Minister Nick Gibb, Shadow Schools Minister Mike Kane and, with other Sheffield MPs, delivered a letter to 10 Downing Street pressing the Prime Minister to restore the 8% real terms cut in funding our schools have faced since 2010.
14 headteachers from schools across Sheffield – including infant, primary, secondary and special educational needs schools – came down to London to press their case. In the discussions, they described the funding situation as putting our schools on a ‘cliff edge’. They spoke of the staffing cuts that they had been forced to make by the funding shortfall – limiting subject choice, reducing learning support and particularly affecting the growing number of children with special educational needs.
Costs have increased and there are more pupils, but funding has not kept up. Extra numbers of children with special educational needs and mental health problems add to the pressure. Our schools are at a breaking point. Children only get one chance, and their futures are at stake.
The visit was also covered by the Sheffield Star, who made a great video about it – see it here.