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School funding crisis

by mikebell on 11 April, 2019

Education leaders are warning of the huge crisis facing schools in North Somerset due funding cuts.

Between 2015 and 2019, schools in the area have lost out on a total of £17.3million in funding – which equates to £256 per pupil.

Leaders of multi-academy trusts (MAT) have said the situation is ‘critical’ with schools facing huge cuts in services and increasing costs.

Councillor Mike Bell said: “I’ve got two boys in Primary School and am a governor at Walliscote. Whatever the national politicians may say, school budgets are being squeezed and it has real implications for class sizes, equipment and opportunities for our kids. Councils don’t have a lot of control over this anymore, as schools are increasingly directly funded by national government.

“But councils have an important role in championing needs and planning for the future. North Somerset Council, under the Conservatives, just doesn’t stand up for local schools. We’ve had a succession of weak political leaders who don’t seem interested in trying to win a better deal.

“Contrast that with Lib Dem / Independent controlled Cornwall, where they have run a major campaign to fight for fairer funding and lobbied ministers on behalf of their schools. North Somerset should do likewise. I’ve offered several times to join the Conservative Council Leader in cross party meetings with ministers. Not once has he taken the offer up in 12 years. This Conservative administration needs to go. They are out of touch and out of ideas.”

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