Caroline Lucas tells Chancellor ‘feeble excuses no longer wash’ over school funding

Brighton and Hove MPs with Save Our Schools campaigners (Picture courtesy of Caroline Lucas MP)
Brighton and Hove MPs with Save Our Schools campaigners (Picture courtesy of Caroline Lucas MP)

Green MP Caroline Lucas has written to the Chancellor urging him to boost funding for schools in the Budget later this month.

The Brighton Pavilion MP said ‘feeble excuses will no longer wash’ when it comes to school funding, and has told Philip Hammond to reverse per-pupil funding cuts, fully fund a 3.5 per cent pay rise for all teaching staff and address the impact of a government freeze on sixth form funding.

Caroline Lucas, Brighton Pavilion's Green MP

Caroline Lucas, Brighton Pavilion's Green MP

Ms Lucas told the Chancellor she has heard ‘heart-breaking’ accounts from headteachers in Brighton who have been forced to cut counselling services and support for children with special educational needs and disabilities, and to rely on support from parents and charities.

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She said: “Schools and sixth forms in Brighton and across the UK are in crisis. I’ve had heart-breaking emails from headteachers in desperate need of extra funding to deliver a decent standard of education. Enrichment activities, school trips and even counselling are fast becoming longed-for luxuries in our city.

“The Government’s feeble excuses and exaggerations will no longer wash. The Chancellor must urgently grant schools and sixth forms the funding they need to educate our children.”

Ms Lucas said The Institute for Fiscal Studies found that the Government has cut per-pupil funding by eight per cent since 2009/10.

She said it ‘beggars belief’ that a letter she received this week from Education Secretary Damian Hinds – which attempted to rebut criticism over school funding – failed to address these findings.

The letter to the Chancellor comes ahead of an event in Parliament today (October 10), hosted by Caroline and Save Our Schools Brighton & Hove – where children and parents will speak directly to MPs about how budget cuts are affecting their schools.