Labour hopeful says Government mistake ‘could cost Suffolk schools £5m’
Ipswich Labour candidate, Jack Abbott, has said a Government funding mistake could cost Suffolk schools nearly £5m next year.
This comes after the Department of Education admitted to miscalculating the amount of funding due to be granted to state schools in England next year, resulting in a £370m error.
New Labour Party statistics indicate this ‘mathematical incompetence’ could cost Suffolk schools nearly £5m next year.
Copleston High School, in Ipswich, is set to lose out the most at nearly £95,000 from its budget.
Mr Abbott said: “School budgets are already stretched to breaking point, so to essentially have £5 million removed from our county’s education system will come as a hammer blow.
“Everywhere you look, the Conservatives are failing our schools, our teachers and our children, from crumbling school buildings to farcical school funding. ”
Although the overall £59.6bn schools budget remains unchanged, per pupil spending had to be revised to a 1.9 per cent increase, down from 2.7 per cent, due to an underestimation in the number of pupils.
Ipswich MP, Tom Hunt, said he remains committed to addressing a national funding formula which ‘doesn’t work well for Suffolk’, as well as the ‘variety of factors’ pressuring school budgets.
He added: “Only two weeks ago myself and other Suffolk MPs met with the schools minister to discuss this point — we need to deal with random disparities in the per pupil funding that exist across the country.
“There are a variety of factors that are increasing pressure on school budgets — A growth in the number of children that have special needs (often complex) and also a growth in the number of pupils that don’t speak English as a first language.”
Labour’s Shadow Education Secretary, Bridget Phillipson, however, believes education ‘simply isn’t a priority’ for the Government.
She continued: “Rishi Sunak wants young people to learn maths to 18, but he ought to get his own house in order first and teach Conservative Education Ministers how to count.
“It’s no wonder that the relationship between families, schools and government is at rock bottom.”
An inquiry into the mistake was ordered by the Government alongside the apology.