Teaching job loss fears “extremely concerning” say Newham MPs

Newham MPs Lyn Brown and Stephen Timms

Newham MPs Lyn Brown and Stephen Timms - Credit: Archant

Newham MPs have rallied against potential job losses of 1,500 teaching staff in the borough over the next five years.

Stephen Timms, MP for East Ham, and Lyn Brown, MP for West Ham, spoke out about the “concerning” estimates made last week by Kevin Courtney, deputy general secretary of the National Union of Teachers (NUT).

Mr Courtney warned the next round of austerity cuts imposed by the Conservative government would bring about “widescale loss of teacher and teaching posts” with Newham teaching staff among the worst hit.

Ms Brown blasted prime minister David Cameron for failing to keep his election “promise” of protecting frontline services from cuts.

The Labour politician attended the Newham United Against Austerity meeting at the University of East London on Saturday where My Courtney was speaking.

She said Newham Council has received “massive cuts” to its budget, adding: “It has had to save £106 million since 2010. In addition, there have been major cuts to the NHS and schools budgets.

“Despite the fact that the council has fought to protect services valued by its residents, these levels of cuts cannot be made without tough choices.

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“When David Cameron was elected he said there would be no cuts to frontline services. This is another promise he failed to keep. Whereas some leafier Tory areas are receiving more money, ours has seen the largest reduction.”

Labour’s Mr Timms added: “These job loss estimates are extremely concerning for Newham. Our teachers and teaching assistants are a big part of the reason that schools in Newham consistently achieve results above the national average.

“The government needs to clarify its position on the funding of schools in Newham to alleviate the real concerns that many parents and teachers have across our borough.”

Sir Robin Wales Mayor of Newham spoke out against the cuts earlier this week.

He said: “Any cuts to funding for Newham schools will damage the huge regeneration potential of the borough and undermine the great strides the council and our teaching staff have made in bridging the attainment gap between our pupils and those from more affluent backgrounds.”