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Union predicts Newham education cuts will be worst in London

PUBLISHED: 11:04 22 February 2017 | UPDATED: 12:18 22 February 2017

Government funding cuts could see 845 fewer teachers in Newham classrooms in the future. Picture: Dave Thompson/PA

Government funding cuts could see 845 fewer teachers in Newham classrooms in the future. Picture: Dave Thompson/PA

PA Wire/PA Images

Schools in Newham will receive the biggest cuts to education funding of any London borough by 2020, a teaching union has warned.

Newham faces losing 845 teachers and £31,501,327 from the government’s £3 billion education budget, equating to a funding shortfall of £611 per pupil.

The National Audit Office’s predicted shortfall could mean bigger class sizes plus some GCSE and A Level subjects being dropped from the curriculum, according to the National Association of Headteachers (NAHT) which represents teaching leaders.

General secretary Russell Hobby said: “School budgets are being pushed beyond breaking point.

“The government’s £3bn real terms cut to education funding must be reversed or we will see education and care suffer.

“Already heads are being forced to cut staff, cut the curriculum and cut specialist support.”

Neighbouring borough Tower Hamlets is estimated to also be one of the worst affected in London with estimated cuts of nearly £28m.

Even affluent boroughs such as Kensington and Chelsea stand to lose over £7m under the proposals, which have been drawn up by central government through a new national funding formula.

Shadow Schools Minister Mike Kane said: “No matter how much ministers fudge the figures school leaders are telling us that their budgets are becoming unsustainable by 2019.”

However, a Department for Education spokeswoman called the figures “fundamentally misleading” and said school funding was at its highest level on record.

She said: “They ignore the fact that schools funding is driven by pupil numbers and as pupil numbers rise, the amount of money schools receive will also increase.

“The system for distributing that funding across the country is unfair, opaque and outdated.

“We are going to end the historic post code lottery in school funding and create a system that funds schools fairly and according to the needs of their pupils.”

A public consultation will run until March 22. The NAHT will hold a series of national events to raise awareness of the levies amongst school leaders, governors and parents on Friday in London.


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